Many years ago in the shipping world we just weighed a package on top of a shipping scale and paid charges based on the weight. Today, you pay shipping charges based on both weight and the size of your box that you are shipping. Smaller packages are greener packages because more of them fit on a pallet or in a truck, meaning it takes less fuel to move them. Larger packages take up more space and, ultimately, use more fuel. That’s the principle behind dimensional weight. Since dimensional weight is a very important measurement it can be a good idea to add a dimensional weighing and measurement tool to your shipping process.
On Jan. 3, 2011, the formula UPS uses to calculate dim weight will change. Dim weight is calculated by multiplying the length, width and height of a box (in inches) and dividing the total by a standardized figure. In 2011, that divisor will change to:
166 for UPS Ground and air shipments
139 for U.S. export shipments
For packages shipped via domestic UPS Ground and UPS Standard to Canada, dim weight only comes into effect when the package size is 3 cubic feet (5,184 cubic inches) or larger. In many cases, you can offset the change in price by making a minor adjustment.
“A small change in the size of the package could really make a big change in what the dim weight impact will be,” says Bernie Reeb, UPS director of rates. “For example, for certain packages, if you took just 1 inch off one dimension, you could almost neutralize the entire rate change.”