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How to Measure Dimensional Weight of a Package (and why it’s important)

Dimensional weight calculation is a necessary step for eCommerce companies and retailers who ship products in boxes and large poly bags. By subjecting all packages to dimensional weight billing, also known as DIM weight, carriers hope to encourage retailers to make better packaging decisions.  By right-sizing shipment packaging, carriers can maximize the number of packages being transported per truckload.

Dimensional Weight Calculation 

How To Calculate Dimensional WeightKnowing how to accurately calculate a package’s dimensional weight will ensure companies don’t overpay for shipments. Although the formula varies slightly from carrier to carrier, the basic dimensional formula is length x width x height divided by a dimensional factor or DIM Factor. For both UPS and FedEx, the current dimensional factor is 166 for domestically shipped items and 139 for internationally shipped items. Typically, the result is rounded up to the nearest pound or kilogram. For irregularly shaped containers, shippers should measure the package at the greatest dimensions.

For shipments using poly bags, anything over 12’ x 12’ x 1” will qualify for dimensional weight shipping.

Important Packaging Considerations

With the move towards dimensional weight based rates, choosing the right packaging is more important than ever for retailers who want to reduce shipping rates. Selecting the smallest box possible without compromising product protection is essential. Efficient packing of products to maximize use of the entire box space will help to optimize shipping budgets. Using stronger corrugated boxes will also help to prevent bulging of the sides of the box and will better protect box contents.  In addition, using lighter and more effective cushioning products will help protect products without taking up excess space.

By minimizing wasted space through proper box selection, retailers can avoid potential shipping rate increases. Retailers should use this approach to package shipping rates as an opportunity to improve order fulfillment, optimize shipping operations and implement a more strategic approach towards the selection of protective packaging for their products.


About Pratt Industries
Pratt is America’s 5th Largest Corrugated Packaging Company and the world’s largest, privately-held 100% recycled paper and packaging company, with more than 6000 highly-skilled, green-collar employees dedicated to the environment and sustainability. Our customer focused packaging solutions can help your business increase packaging efficiency, reduce logistics costs, simulate packaging performance through the supply chain, test package reliability, and boost strength & product protection. Contact us today to learn more!

By |October 13th, 2016|

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