Dimensional weight has been used by air freight for a long time, and about 5 years ago, large shipping companies like FedEx and UPS started calculating dimensional weight and applying the results to packages shipped by ground service. The old way dimensional weight was calculated was by multiplying length, width and height. There are new policy changes that are going into effect at the end of December for FedEx and UPS that change the way dimensional weight is calculated. It is now calculated by multiplying the length, width and height of a package and dividing by 166 cubic inches per pound.
Dimensional Weight- The Specifics
Dimensional weight is more specifically calculated by measuring the height, length and width of a package in inches, using the longest point on each side and taking into consideration any misshaped edges or bulges. To get the cubic size of the package, multiply those dimensions. For example, if your package is 20” x 13” x 13”, the dimensional weight would be 3,380 cubic inches. When calculating dimensional weight, most shipping carriers have customers round to the nearest whole number. So, for example, if the length of your package is 10.50 inches or higher, you would round up to 11” but if it is 10.49” or below, you would round down to 10 inches, and so on.
The major carriers, UPS and FedEx, currently calculate dimensional weight the same way, which is the package’s cubic size divided by 166 for domestic shipments and 139 for international shipments. Dimensional weight is used to determine a package’s billable weight, which is the cost of shipping the package. If air service is being utilized for your package’s delivery, dimensional weight will always factor into the cost. If ground service is the shipping method used, usually it’s only subject to dimensional weight if the package is 3 cubic feet or larger (5,184 cubic inches). If the cubic size is less than 3 cubic feet, dimensional weight isn’t used and billable weight is determined by actual weight. However, now, any package shipped by FedEx or UPS will be rated by dimensional weight. J.M. Field Fulfillment is here for you to explain the changes and give you the best rates when shipping with us.