You’ve probably heard of the terms “DIM Weight” or “Dimensional Weight” by now, but do you know what it means?
Dimensional (DIM) Weight is the method of calculating shipping costs used by major freight carriers today. In order to calculate dim weight, freight carriers now measure the dimensions of your package rather than the weight to calculate your shipping cost.
DIM weight is used because freight companies realized that what they were hauling was mostly one product… air. With the rise of ecommerce, many boxes were being shipped with lots of empty space in them. This means that the shipping trucks were nowhere near their weight capacity and they were missing out on getting value for their asset, which is space in their truck. Once calculated, the actual charge is whatever is greater for the package: the DIM weight vs. the actual weight. While this helps out the freight carriers, it can put you in a little shock next time you ship something.
How to Calculate Dim Weight
To calculate the DIM Weight of a package you multiply the length (L), times width (W), times height (H) in inches (and round up to the nearest inch). If the total cubic inches of your package is greater than 1,728, you’ll divide by 139. If your total cubic inches total is less than 1,728, you’ll divide by 166.
Fortunately, you don’t have to keep a calculator in your pocket because we’ve created an easy-to-use Dim Weight Calculator to help you!
Dim Weight Example
I need to ship my grandmother’s china vase to my niece who’s getting married. I found a box big enough to ship it in and filled the extra space with bubble wrap. The box with the vase in it weighs 6 lbs. My box dimensions are 20” x 10” x 15” = 3,000 cubic inches. Dividing that by 139 gives me a dimensional weight of 22 lbs.! That’s a 16 lb. increase! Maybe I’ll just drive three states over and deliver it myself...
That’s just one example of how DIM Weight can affect an individual. Now imagine you’re in the vase manufacturing business and need to ship out 100 packages each day and your shipping rate just got increased by 16 lbs. for each of those packages. That’s an extra 1600 lbs. of freight you’re paying for each month. Yikes!
That’s where Associated Packaging, Inc. can help. Contact us to right-size your packages and assist you in saving on shipping costs!
(Incorrect vs. Correct way to package)