Dimensional Weight Calculator

FedEx, UPS & USPS Dimensional Weight Calculator

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Length
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Width
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Height
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Billed Weight Zone {{ n+1 }}
{{billUPS}} lbs {{ value }} *
{{billFedEx}} lbs {{ value }} *
{{billUSPS}} lbs {{ value }} *

Scroll down to read explanation

DIM Weight {{dimWeightUps}} lbs {{dimWeightFedEx}} lbs {{dimWeightUSPS}} lbs
Billed Weight {{billUPS}} lbs {{billFedEx}} lbs {{billUSPS}} lbs
Zone {{ n+1 }} {{getZoneData('ups',n-1)}} * {{getZoneData('fedex',n-1)}} * {{getZoneData('usps',n-1)}} *

* Prices shown are each carrier's base daily rates. Red Stag clients receive substantial shipping discounts off the carrier's base rates. Please Contact Us for more information.

Base Shipping Rate Calculation

UPS will bill you for your parcel at {{billUPS | decimalonly}} pounds since the DIM weight is not greater than the parcel's actual weight.

FedEx will bill you for your parcel at {{billFedEx | decimalonly}} pounds since the DIM weight is not greater than the parcel's actual weight.

USPS will bill you for your parcel at {{billUSPS}} pounds since the DIM weight is not greater than the parcel's actual weight.

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What is DIM Weight?

Prior to 2015, the cost to ship a parcel was based on a very simple formula. Carriers used a table that would assign a base shipping rate for every combination of weight (1-150 lbs) and zones (distance to be shipped). The heavier the package and/or the further it needed to travel, the more it cost to ship.

 

On the surface, this formula makes perfect sense, until you think about one loophole: Third-party logistics companies such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS have a fixed amount of space available in their trucks and aircraft. It’s this space that’s at a premium, not necessarily the net weight of a parcel. Because of this, in 2015 FedEx and UPS introduced a new pricing model called Dimensional (DIM) Weight. The purpose of this DIM weight pricing was to calculate FedEx, UPS, and USPS shipping costs based on the amount of space a parcel would take up, and charge accordingly.

 

DIM Weight v. Actual Weight

 

How to Calculate Dimensional Weight

The FedEx, UPS, and USPS dimensional weight formulas all follow: (Height x Width x Length)/Dim Factor = DIM Weight. DIM weight is short for dimensional weight and is also referred to as volumetric weight.

 

If your package is relatively heavy and small, the actual weight will likely be more than the DIM weight, (think about shipping iron dumbbells). In that case, your FedEx, UPS, or USPS shipping cost will be based on the actual weight. However, if the DIM weight is more than the actual weight, you’ll be charged based on the DIM weight, (imagine shipping a lightweight titanium bike frame). These larger, parcels are more likely to be adversely affected by DIM weight pricing.

 

DIM weight example

 

FedEx and UPS will always use the larger value, DIM Weight or Actual Weight, as the final Billed Weight.

How Order Fulfillment Companies Help

DIM weight doesn’t have to drag down your sales, even if your products are large or require extra packaging. When you work with an order fulfillment company, their volume pricing can save you (and your customers) on shipping.

 

Order fulfillment companies ship a large number of packages with the major freight companies, so they are able to negotiate volume discounts that they can pass on to their clients. In addition to a lower rate per pound shipped, some order fulfillment providers also negotiate and pass along more favorable DIM factors to their clients.

 

With two ways to save on shipping, your order fulfillment company can take the weight off your shoulders when it comes to sending large or bulky items.

FedEx Dimensional Weight Changes for 2018

FedEx changed its DIM Factor from 166 to 139 beginning in 2017. This means that DIM weights (also called dimensional weight or volumetric weight) for FedEx parcels will be greater than before.

 

For example, in 2016, if you shipped a 10” x 10” x 10” package that weighed 5 pounds, your old DIM weight calculation would be (10 x 10 x 10)/166 = 7 pounds dimensional weight. You would be charged for shipping a 7-pound package, since the DIM Weight is greater than the actual weight.

FedEx DIM Weight
With the updated DIM Factor, the dimensional weight of that same package is now 8 pounds. (10 x 10 x 10)/139 = 8 pounds. Your FedEx shipping charges would be based on the DIM weight of 8 pounds, since it’s greater than the actual weight.

 

FedEx has also changed its base billing rates. Both FedEx and UPS used to have the same base billing rates. Now, for packages of the same rate, UPS has a slight price advantage in Zones 2 through 4. FedEx tends to be slightly cheaper in Zones 5 through 8. FedEx’s official dimensional weight calculator can be found here.

 

UPS Dimensional Weight Changes for 2018

UPS on the other hand, kept the same DIM Factor of 166 for packages smaller than or equal to 12” x 12” x 12” (1,728 cubic inches). Only for parcels measuring more than 1,728 cubic inches is UPS’s new DIM Factor of 139 used.

 

For example, if you shipped a 10” x 10” x 10” package that weighed 6 pounds, your UPS DIM weight calculation would be (10 x 10 x 10)/166 = 7 pounds dimensional weight. You would be charged for shipping a 7-pound package since the DIM weight is the same as the actual weight. This is the same shipping charge as last year. For this package, UPS has a DIM weight one pound less than FedEx. However, package that same 6-pound item in a less-optimal 12″ x 12″ x 14″ box, and the UPS DIM factor drops to 139, causing the billed weight to increase to 15! (12 x 12 x 14)/139 = 15 pounds.UPS DIM WeightUPS has also changed its base billing rates. Both UPS and FedEx used the same base billing rates in the past. Now, for packages of the same rate, UPS has a small price advantage in Zones 2 through 4. FedEx is a bit cheaper in Zones 5 through 8. UPS’s official page for determining dimensional weight calculator can be found here.

 

USPS Dimensional Weight Changes for 2018

USPS adds two more variables to the way they calculate dimensional weight. First, USPS uses 194 as their DIM Factor, which makes the impact of DIM weight much less severe for affected parcels. The same parcel measuring 12 x 12 x 14 would be billed at 15 pounds by both FedEx and UPS. However, USPS would bill this same parcel at 11 pounds. (12 x 12 x 14)/194 = 11 pounds.

 

 

When shipping with USPS Priority Mail, even packages affected by dimensional weight may not end up costing you more as the shipping party. The final caveat regarding USPS’s dimensional weight calculations is that DIM weights are only applied to zones 5 and up! This means that so long as you’re shipping your package relatively close by via USPS, DIM weight shouldn’t be an issue at all! USPS’s official dimensional weight calculator can be found here.

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