Dimensional weight, also known as "dim weight," is a pricing technique used by shipping carriers to account for the size of a package, rather than just its weight. This can be especially important when shipping large, lightweight items that take up a lot of space in the carrier's vehicle or cargo hold.
Here's how it works: shipping carriers have a set "dimensional factor" that they use to calculate the dimensional weight of a package. This factor is typically based on the size of the package and the type of shipping service being used.
To calculate dimensional weight, the carrier takes the package's length, width, and height, and multiplies these measurements by the dimensional factor. The resulting number is the package's dimensional weight, and it is used to determine the shipping cost for the package.
For example, let's say you have a package that is 18 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 8 inches tall, and you are using a shipping service with a dimensional factor of 166. The package's dimensional weight would be calculated as follows:
Dimensional weight = (length x width x height) / dimensional factor
Dimensional weight = (18 x 12 x 8) / 166
Dimensional weight = 2,208 / 166
Dimensional weight = 13.3 pounds
In this example, the package's actual weight is 10 pounds, but because its dimensional weight is higher, the carrier would charge you for shipping based on the dimensional weight of 13.3 pounds.
It's important to note that carriers have different dimensional factors, so the dimensional weight of a package can vary depending on the carrier and the shipping service being used. Additionally, some carriers have minimum weight requirements for packages, so if the actual weight of a package is below the minimum, the carrier will charge for the minimum weight instead of the actual weight.
Understanding dimensional weight is important for businesses that ship packages, as it can affect the cost of shipping. By being aware of dimensional weight, businesses can take steps to optimize the size and weight of their packages to reduce shipping costs. This can include using smaller boxes or packaging materials, or consolidating multiple items into a single package.
In summary, dimensional weight is a pricing technique used by shipping carriers to account for the size of a package, rather than just its weight. It is calculated by multiplying the package's length, width, and height by the carrier's dimensional factor, and is used to determine the shipping cost for the package. Understanding and optimizing dimensional weight can help businesses reduce their shipping costs and improve their bottom line.