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 the 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 with this new policy.

1. If you utilize UPS Worldship, there is a package type editor that will allow you to save the names and dimensions of your commonly used boxes. While it can be a little time consuming to set this up initially and the package has to be chosen by the employee, this has worked well for us over the past couple of years. Of course when you utilize this strategy you’re assuming the box sizes aren’t changed by the manufacturer or supplier. The other shipping programs or software out there probably have some type of similar package type profile as well.  See more here.

2. If you ship lots of packages, then you might want to consider a dimensional weight measuring device. At one time we had several of these types of systems available but demand wasn’t very high since the shippers weren’t using dim weight results as frequently. Now that the trend seems to be leaning towards more dimensional measuring, we will start having more options available to offer you.