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Why Dim Weight Matters?

Shipping companies generally charge based on weight. It makes sense and frankly is one of the simplest means to do so. On that charge basis, though, they then are interested in being able to convey as much weight as (legally?) possible in a given vehicle.

What’s the Challenge?

The challenge, though, is the vehicle costs to operate are not linked to the weight conveyed. For example, let’s say a box that is 12”x12”x12” is filled with lead and weighs 75lbs. I frankly have no idea how much 1 cubic foot of lead would weigh – but go along with me anyway. If a shipping company charged $1 per lbs. they would receive $75 to move this box. If the box were filled with feathers and weighed 1 lb, they would only receive $1. That is a huge difference. They would really want to move more lead!

How can they fix that?

Enter stage left – Dim weights. Dimensional weighting is a way for the carrier to equalize these huge discrepancies. What dim weighting does is set a standard weight for a given space or volume. The dim weight equation is basically the volume of a package / a dim weight factor. Right now most carriers use a dim weight factor of 166 for domestic moves. More on that recent change in a later blog post….

So in the above example, the box might have a ‘dim weight’ of 11 lbs. (12x12x12 / 166). The shipping company takes the HIGHER of the two weights when rating. In this case the package would be rated at the ‘dim weight’ rather than the actual weight. In essence, it sets a minimum charge for a given amount of space in the vehicle that is taken up.

Because of this one of the easiest ways to lower your shipping costs is to review your packaging and shipping box considerations. We really suggest you take a look at the density of your packed products. If they are relatively light for their size – this may be an unexpected issue. We are more than happy to speak with you about ways to mitigate this.

Posted in: Cost Savings, Shipping |
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