What is Dim Weight?

a cartoon man looking sadly at a pile of boxes

DIM Weight is short for dimensional weight – it’s a billing method that uses the total volume of a package (length x width x height) to calculate freight costs instead of using the actual weight of the package. When dimensional weight is used, shipping costs are based on the higher of the two measurements: package weight or package size. In 2015, UPS, DHL and FedEx all announced that dimensional (DIM) weight pricing would go into effect for all ground packages – regardless of size.

An inforgraphic that shows the calculation for dimensional weight

The reason for this change in billing is due to the growing number of e-commerce packages that are not being packed in ways that save space. Have you ever gotten a box delivered to your home that contained one small item and a huge amount of air pillows or paper cushioning? Shipping packages that are large and light can fill up a delivery truck long before any weight limitations are hit, and this costs the carrier money. 

“We need to charge a fair value for use of our asset, which is in this case space.” – FedEx spokesman Jess Bunn

“We believe this (dimensional weight pricing) will encourage customers to reduce their package sizes.” - Bill Smith, UPS Vice President of Marketing


What does that pricing increase really look like? Check out these examples of common products sold through e-commerce.

an infographic showing the DIM weight savings of shipping headphones and backpacks properlyCalculations based on 2017 UPS Shipping Rates for Ground service. Surcharges not included.

As you can see, the difference between actual (cubic size) and dimensional weight significantly increases your freight bill over time. Many companies are negotiating a special divisor rate with the shipping companies, but don’t stop there… you can reduce your freight bill even more by right-sizing your packaging! 


For Shipment in 2017

  1. Enter the dimensions for the shipping container:
  2. Enter the actual weight of the package:


Don’t leave yourself at the mercy of the shipping companies. Let us right-size your packages and reduce your freight bill, contact us today!

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