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Explaining Dimensional Weight

How Is Dimensional Weight Calculated?

Dimensional weight, aka Volumetric Weight, takes into account the length, width and height of a package and is a theoretical weight of a package. Shipping companies like DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc. will set a “minimum density” for a given size of a package. If the item is below the minimum density, then you will be charged for the dimensional weight.  There are two different calculations to acquire the dimensional weight.

  • Domestic: (L x W x H)/166
  • International: (L x W x H)/139

So let’s look at an example that we see quite often here at Goopping. Somebody orders a “King Size Bedspread.” Since this isn’t a particularly heavy item, but takes up a rather large space, it will be charged by it’s dimensional weight. Even though the spread may only weigh 5 LBS, it’s going to require a box that is 20 x 20 x 14. So if we calculate those numbers using the International equation, we get the following:

(20 x 20 x 14)/139

20 x 20 x 14 = 5600

5600/139 = 40.3 LBS (theoretically)

Thus we see where the application takes place. Essentially, it’s a way for shippers to justify shipping a lightweight item that would otherwise yield them very little return, but take up more space causing them to potentially lose out on room for other items.

How Can You Avoid Dimensional Weight?

The only possible way to avoid dimensional weight is to try and fit the item into a smaller box. Often times we will try this before we provide you with the shipping total, but unfortunately there are times where we simply cannot re-size the box.

Will Our Shipping Calculator Factor In Dimensional Weight?

Yes. As long as you are able to give us a fairly accurate guess as to what the dimensions and weight of an item are, then our calculator will factor in dimensional weight.

Hopefully I’ve been able to give you a bit of an insight as to what dimensional weight is and why it is used. Please be sure to ask a question if you have any!

Jared Edwards