Top 8 Strategies to Improve Your Dim Weight Shipping Process

Yesterday we had a chance to see, in person, the Rice Lake iDimension® 100 dim weight scanning system and the Rice Lake Bench Pro Series shipping scale and it is an impressive group of products from Rice Lake!

With a system like this, all you do is place the package that you’re shipping on the scale top and within a few tenths of a second you have the weight of the box and the dimensions. This data can then be sent over to your shipping software such as UPS Worldship.

We never had to key in the weight of the box. We also did not have to pick up a yard stick and squint trying to read measurements. We did not have to key in the length, or the width, or the height of the box either. All of this was done automatically in under a second!

Think of how much easier your shipping process could go at your business!

If your business ships a couple dozen boxes or more per day; this iDimension 100 dimensional weight measuring scanner could save your company and your shipping clerk a lot of hassles and money.

The iDim 100 could also help your UPS shipping corrections drop dramatically as well each month on your UPS or FedEx statement. We’ve written about the iDimension 100 before with a series of Frequently Asked Questions.

The key part of this system is the cost savings.

Let’s say you ship products to your customers on a daily basis. On average you ship (50) boxes per day all over the country. The boxes are usually different sizes because you sell various products and various quantities on each order. Your standard order fulfillment process that you currently use is to just fill each box, place the box on the scale and enter the weight and ship to address. The shipping cost is then displayed on the screen and that is what your customer is charged for shipping.

Unfortunately, when your UPS and FedEx bill comes in at the end of the month, you will soon find out that you have been undercharging your customers on virtually every transaction. And the costs can be significant. Multiply that out by (50) orders per day and (300+) days per year you can see where a iDimension 100 automatic dim weight measurement system could instantly improve your productivity and bottom line.

dim weight scanning device

When you research about the dim weight subject online, often you see folks mention the dimensional weight calculator for UPS or FedEx. The freight density calculator is great but only for a handful of boxes. You don’t want to have to use that online calculator manually for thirty boxes each day.

The future of shipping is dimensional weight. From small businesses and mail counters to large operations and warehouses, parcel and package shipment is a daily occurrence. In order to more accurately reflect billable weight, many carriers are now determining shipment pricing based on either dimensional weight or actual weight. Whichever is greater.

Measuring dimensions manually is more time consuming than obtaining the package’s weight with a conventional shipping scale. How can businesses ensure freight compliance and deter revenue-loss from miscalculated dimensions, without adding time to their process?

There are manufacturers modernizing dimensioning technology to provide shippers with solutions to quickly, efficiently and accurately obtain package dimensions for shipment with dimensioning systems.

Dim weight is all about volume. Dimensioning systems use sensing and imaging technology to calculate the dimensions of packages to determine dim weight. Although dimensioning systems differ in performance and technology, they provide valuable solutions to ensure companies optimize dim-weight shipping with accurate package dimensions, all without slowing processes.

Follow these EIGHT steps to optimize dimensional weighing in your application:

1. Optimize the way you package items. Use only the material needed to safely ship products and choose the best sized containers.

2. Do your research. Speak with your carriers to determine the dim weight policies they have in place. Knowing shipping requirements now can help deter additional fees in the future.

3. Document your current total monthly shipping charges to ensure your dim weight shipping charges are accurate (and that you’re measuring dim weight correctly). Odds are you will see a lot of areas for improvement.

4. Convert irregulars to cubic measurements. Polybags, tubes and irregular shapes need cubic measurements, too. Manually measuring irregular shapes can be complicated. A dimensioning system can measure them for you.

5. Streamline your system. Utilizing dimensioning systems can maximize your process flow and limit the amount of errors & time spent manually measuring.

6. Know that not all dimensioning systems are created equal. If speed, accuracy and dependability are important to you, ensure that your dimensioning system can deliver all three.

7. If you ship a variety of items, from oversized packages to thin mailers, closely research the maximum package height and widths dimensioning systems can measure.

8. Spec out the systems on the market. Certain dimensioning systems can integrate scales to provide package dimensions and weight at the same time. Some can integrate this data with existing shipping software, too.

If this sounds like a shipping solution that your company could use, contact us today. We’ve seen this product up close and there are many companies out there who have shipping departments who would benefit from a system like this. We can provide you with a custom quote for your particular needs. Our phone number is (919) 776-7737 or you can fill out the Request a Quote button on our website.

Are You Ready for the Latest Changes in Billable Weight for Shipping Carriers?

Have you seen the latest pricing and billing strategies utilized by large shipping carriers like FedEx®, UPS® and DHL®? In order to more accurately reflect billable weight, these large freight carriers are now determining shipment pricing based on either dimensioning or actual weight — whichever is greater. If you’re shipping quite a few boxes each day, that can mean a lot of extra fees and/or extra time measuring boxes with a tape measure.

Fortunately, Rice Lake now offers the iDimension™ 100 which is the fastest solution for calculating NTEP Certified dimensions of boxes, flats, polybags, tubes and other irregular-shaped packages.

This out-of-the-box solution ensures freight compliance and deters revenue loss from miscalculated dimensions in retail, office and shipping environments. With the operator display directly attached and no PC interface required, iDimension 100 delivers instant dimensions with a quick and easy setup.

3d image for UPS box dimensions and weight

– Calculates NTEP Certified dimensions in 0.2 seconds
– No moving parts, no special handling
– Quick assembly—includes all necessary hardware and tools
– No PC interface required to set up, configure or manually enter dimensions into 3rd party software
– Interfaces with NTEP Certified shipping scales and select Rice Lake indicators via USB connection
– Take measurements to a new dimension with the iDimension 100.
– Simply open, assemble and display dimensions. Instantly.

By adding the iDimension 100 to your warehouse you can ultimately save money and time, leading to more productivity and profitability for your company. For more information, please visit our website or contact us a (919) 776-7737.

iDimension Frequently Asked Questions

If you ship packages to customers or suppliers then you really should take a look at the iDimension system built by Rice Lake. Not long ago we went into detail about how dimensional weighing is becoming a very important area for shippers to pay close attention. Today we wanted to present a few of the frequently asked questions along with answers. Plus we’ll also provide a video below that shows the unit in action easily calculating dimensional weight for various items and packages.

Q: Does iDimension Interface with shipping software programs?
A: The iDimension Series at this time is a new product. The free API and software development tool kit can help users interface with their current system. In the future, look for iDimension Software Compatibility Chart at www.ricelake.com as new companies are added to the list.

Q: How do I connect my iDimension to a PC?
A: The iDimension Series interfaces to an Ethernet port. Connect directly to a PC’s Ethernet port or router switch so that iDimension can be configured as a DCHP or static IP device.

Q: Does iDimension have a operator display or keypad?
A: The customer’s computer monitor is used as the display. iDimension’s embedded firmware provides a demo display with image, operator display and customer display. Use a Wi-Fi router to connect to a tablet using iDimension’s web service technology.

Q: Can iDimension connect to a scale?
A: iDimension can be configured to add the weight into the iDimension displays or API. There is a selection of common shipping scales to choose from or use a Rice Lake 420 indicator with custom iDimension software that uses an RS-232 to USB converter, providing an FTDI driver. Actually in a lot of cases, the end user’s scales already interface to their software program; so connection to the iDimension is not required.

Q: What is an API?
A: Application Program Interface, or API, is a set of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications. An API is generally a specification of remote calls exposed to software for consumption that will allow the software to perform different operations, or retrieve specific data. The Rice Lake API allows users to interface with the system to retrieve dimensions, weight, a low-resolution image and more valuable data using a simple HTTP request and XML parsing method. iDimension is easily installed over existing conveyors and workstations.

Q: Does iDimension provide a dimensional weight?
A: The iDimension Series is NTEP Certified to provide dimensional weight since most shipping software programs provide dimensional weight standard. However, we provide length, width, height, weight, a low resolution image, time and date, sequential capture identification, status, extended status, and identification barcode information.

Q: What is an irregular shape?
A: An irregular shape is anything that is not packed in a carton. iDimension is one of the few dimensioning systems that accurately measure an irregular shape with NTEP Certification at 10 mm accuracy.

Q: How do I calibrate the iDimension Series?
A: A calibration tool is provided with each product. Simply place the item under iDimension and calibrate using the embedded firmware.

Q: What are the advantages of the iDimension Series?
A: iDimension is an innovative, easy-to-maintain dimensioning solution with no moving parts to service. iDimension can quickly capture dimensions in 0.2 seconds from parcels placed anywhere in its zone of interest work area. A high-resolution camera captures an image of the parcel to identify bar codes and OCR data.

Q: What is the warranty?
A: One year from date of installation.

Q: What is the repair policy?
A: Rice Lake Weighing Systems has a repair depot swap program and easy field replacement.

Q: How do I troubleshoot in the field?
A: Using a remote support program like TeamViewer®, Rice Lake’s iDimension service team can quickly provide remote support from our facility without need for a field visit.

Q: Ok, all of this sounds great, how do I get an iDimension for my company?
A: Contact the sales team either by phone at 919-776-7737 or via the information request form.

Dimensional Weighing and Measuring of Boxes At Shipping Table

Some companies ship lots of parcels and boxes every single day. Others ship quite a few boxes occasionally and light amounts otherwise. Meanwhile, some companies have hundreds of boxes that ship out to their customers via FedEx or UPS everyday.

At Central Carolina Scale, we ship out quite a few boxes every week and recently noticed a change that you are probably going to start noticing as well if you own a business that ships out packages via UPS Ground.

We’ll focus mostly on UPS since that is our primary carrier but you can probably expect FedEx to do something similar if they’re not already. You see in the past UPS mostly focused dimensional weight rates, aka… dim weight on their expedited services like UPS Red (Next Day Air) or UPS Blue (2nd Day Air). Well, starting in 2015 dim weights apply to the standard UPS Ground charges as well. You can see more at UPS rates website.

In addition to the announcement that UPS® Ground, Air and International rates will increase an average net 4.9% there is also a mention of dimensional weight pricing.

Dimensional weight pricing will apply to all UPS® Ground services and UPS® Standard to Canada packages. Dimensional weight pricing encourages reductions in excess packaging materials and overall package sizes, leading to reduced fuel use, vehicle emissions and transportation costs.

We should probably give you a quick overview of what dimensional weight is all about. Here is the way UPS describes it. Dimensional weight reflects package density, which is the amount of the space a package occupies in relation to its actual weight. Dimensional weight may apply to all UPS domestic and international package services. Determine the package dimensions in inches. For each dimension, measure at the longest point, rounding each measurement to the nearest whole number (for example, 1.00 to 1.49 will be considered 1, and 1.50 to 1.99 will be considered 2). Measure the length, width and height of the package at its extreme points. If the package has a bulge or is irregularly shaped, include the bulge or irregular aspects of the package. Multiply the package length by the width by the height. The result is the cubic size in inches.

UPS Air Services shipments in U.S.: Divide the cubic size in inches by 166 to determine dimensional weight in pounds. Increase any fraction to the next whole pound.

UPS Ground shipments in U.S.: If the cubic size of the package in inches is 5,184 or larger, divide the cubic size by 166 to determine dimensional weight in pounds. If the cubic size in inches is less than 5,184, use the actual weight of the package. Increase any fraction to the next whole pound.

Effective December 29, 2014, dimensional weight will be used to calculate the billable weight of all UPS Ground packages. For business and industry this creates quite a quandary since it can be very time consuming getting out the tape measure or the yard stick and measuring every single box. Below are a couple of tips that might help you out Continue reading

Avoid dimensional weight charges

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. Continue reading