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

Can I Buy An American Made Floor Scale?

Over the past few months on this site we have taken a look at how realistic is it to purchase certain types of scales and related equipment that is actually made in the USA. We looked at Made In The USA scale indicators and Built in America Load Cells. Today I wanted to find out if you can still buy a Made In the USA floor scale?

Absolutely! Now I do want to write a small disclaimer before I get started. The information presented below is provided to the best of my knowledge and at the time of this writing is true. As all of you know, the pressures of a shaky economy and increased competition can always force scale manufacturers to change their process. But to my knowledge what I’m writing below is accurate regarding these decks being made in the United States. So with that being said, let’s answer the simple question. Can I still get a floor scale that was actually built in America? Yes you can.

Anytime you think of floor scales built in America the first choice has to be the Pennsylvania Scale 6600 series. The Pennsylvania floor scale is built in either Lancaster PA or at the corporate facility in Terre Haute, IN. These scales are well built and feature an outstanding warranty. As an added bonus, the indicators from Pennsylvania are also made in the USA. Continue reading

Airline Freight Division Chose Avery Weigh-Tronix Forklift Scales

Following a successful trial, the airline contacted its local distributor, to expand the product into more facilities. Multiple units were supplied for the larger operations that typically handle over a ton of freight daily, made up of many pallets. Avery Weigh-Tronix installed the units onto the existing forklift trucks on location. This transformed the fleet into mobile scales that provide trade-approved weight verification of each pallet. Drivers can now lift, weigh and move loads in one operation, rather than make repeat visits to a remote floor scale, significantly reducing handling time. A company director said, “Our employees love the new scale. They can pick up the load, weigh it accurately and complete the paperwork. It’s a huge time saver.” The client now validates the declared weight of a pallet quickly, ensuring first-time invoice accuracy to the courier or freight forwarder and avoiding any loss in revenue. The total weight of all the pallets in a particular consignment is also captured; essential for precise fuel calculations and to assist with the safe and even loading of the plane. The company also added, “We can now handle more weight, without needing any more operators. Just three lift trucks fitted with the Forklift Truck Scales can achieve the same throughput as five vehicles visiting a floor scale.”

What Scales Are Supported by UPS Worldship?

We get this question quite often, so straight from the UPS website, here is what they list as the supported scales that connect to their Worldship software. We actually use Worldship software and the Mettler Toledo PS60 in our shipping department and it works great. Our scale connects to the computer and the weight is displayed on the computer screen. So whenever we ship a package, we just place the box on the scale and the weight automatically displays on the scale and on the computer screen. This eliminates the task of having to manually type the weight into the software. We offer most of the 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

Common Questions Answered Regarding Counting Scales

Counting Scales are very similar to other scales in terms of weighing, but the counting scale does two additional functions, by performing operations in division and multiplication based on the internal resolution.  Please continue reading below as Jim Daggon and Ann Crowley from Rice Lake Weighing Systems answer some of the common questions relating to counting scales like the Digi DC-300, Digi DC-190, DC-788 and the DC-782.

1. What is internal resolution?
The internal resolution of a counting scale is the number of divisions into which it divides the total capacity of the scale.

Example: A 50 lb counting scale with 1 million count resolution divides up the 50 lb into 1,000,000 parts. This means each internal resolution is translated to 50/1,000,000 or 0.00005 lb.All of the weights are calculated on this basis. For example, if some parts were placed on the counting scale, and the internal calculation was 210 internal counts, the weight to be displayed would be 210 times 0.00005 lb = 0.01050 lb. Since the weight display might only be five digits, then the weight display would be 0.01 lb. This is the external resolution. (rounded off).

The operator can key in the sample quantity—for example, ten pieces. The scale still “knows” how many internal counts are being used (210) and now divides that number by 10 to get the number of internal counts per piece (210/10 = 21). Continue reading

Floor Scales 101 the Fine Print or should we say chinese print?

From time to time we hear from folks asking us about 4’x4′ floor scale systems priced well under $800 with FREE SHIPPING.  Can you truly get a quality 4’x4′ floor scale system for that price?  OR LESS!   Just take a stroll around the internet and you see all kinds of offers.  Well as it turns out, we happened to get a couple of these beauties in our shop to look at.   By the way, they were brought in for repair.

First, almost all of these low cost floor scales are not the size they are promoted to be.  They’re 44″x44″ or 47″x47″.  And that is just the top plate. Once you measure the actual supported frame underneath the top deck plate, that low cost “4×4″ floor scale that you thought was such a great deal is now really a 46″ x 46”.  One of the scales we had in our possession had no label on it.  Who Continue reading

What will it cost me if I don’t buy a good scale?

Choosing the right scale and the right scale company for your application is extremely important. Whether you are looking for a small Ohaus balance or a large Rice Lake 80 foot long Truck Scale, you can save a lot of time and headaches by choosing the right company from the start. Even in today’s tough economy, consumers need to understand the total cost of ownership. For example, downtime often is the most significant cost incurred in industrial settings. In operations like landfills, aggregates, and quarries, many vehicle scales act as the “cash register.” If the scale isn’t Continue reading

Become more efficient with a fork lift scale

Rice Lake CLS model fork lift scales are factory calibrated and delivered with innovative packaging that allows safe and fast installation. Compatible digital indicators can accept data wirelessly from the two-channel digital iQUBE® junction box, located on the scale carriage. Or, if you choose, the wired version communicates weight data via the coil cable provided with the scale. For wireless versions, the communication electronics are protected in enclosures mounted to the back of the indicator and in the junction box. Both models are designed with a separate on/off switch to conserve forklift power and will display battery hours remaining before a recharge is needed.

The CLS has a 5,000 lb capacity that is electronically and mechanically supported by two 5,000 lb stainless steel load cells and mechanical overload protection. The centering pin is welded directly to the scale instead of using mounting bolts that often break. The welded centering pin ensures proper Continue reading


The price of mild steel used in the manufacture of Pennsylvania M6600 Floor Scales rose considerably in 2008. It is difficult in a world market where steel demand drives up the price of the Pennsylvania “Made in the USA” floor scales and meanwhile inferior “no name” products are dumped in the market, putting enormous price pressure on everyone as well. For example, the steel structural extrusion material that is used in the most popular 48″ x 48″ Pennsylvania floor scale designs has DOUBLED in cost since January 2008 — and they use 16′ of it in each and every 4×4 scale. A few comments about the Pennsylvania floor scale design and marketing philosophy:

  1. Pennsylvania will not cheapen the M6600 floor scale to match the competition. The floor scale Continue reading