May 17, 2018

What You Need to Know About Dimensional Weight


What is dimensional weight and how does it affect your business?


What You Need to Know About Dimensional Weight – We recently published a blog to summarize the growing demand in the e-commerce market. If you haven’t read that blog, check it out here. What’s important on this topic is that your major transit carriers are now making it more cost-prohibitive for e-commerce merchants to ship large packages. It used to be that when you shipped a package, regardless of size, you would be charged only the weight of the package.


With the increase of e-commerce shipments, dimensional weight was first introduced in 2015. Today, not only do transit carriers charge you for the weight of your package, they charge you for the amount of room your package takes up in their trucks. The dimensional weight divisor continues to change to keep up with the demand—the lower the divisor, the higher the dimensional weight. On Jan. 2nd, 2017 FedEx changed their dimensional weight divisor from 166 to 139 further impacting the cost of shipping.


So how do you calculate dimensional weight and does it differ from one transit carrier to another? To find the dimensional weight, you take the Length x Width x Height of the package and divide by 139, (the divisor could vary between different transit carriers, FedEx uses 139). Between the actual weight and the dimensional weight, you will be charged the higher of the two. For example, if your product weighs 4 pounds, but your dimensional weight comes in at 5 pounds, you will be charged 5 pounds to ship your product.


Dimensional weight calculation

This dimensional weight calculation for FedEx Express® services applies to Europe, Middle-East, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent (EMEA), EMEA export and EMEA import shipments, per FedEx.


If you are looking for the most cost-efficient transit carrier, USPS does not apply Dimensional Weights for all their shipments. USPS® only applies dimensional DIM weight pricing to domestic Priority Mail® packages larger than a cubic foot that are shipped to zones 5-9. The USPS domestic DIM weight formula is: Length x Width x Height ÷ 194. You can calculate your dimensional weight with USPS here: USPS

how to calculate dimensional weight

While you don’t have control over how the dimensional weight is calculated, you do have control over your product package. Here is what you need to know in order to optimize your product package and take control of shipping costs.


Use the least amount of packaging possible.

EPE has developed innovative packaging technology that uses the exact amount of packaging material required to protect your product during transit. EP3 is designed specifically for your product, using sustainable packaging material, while minimizing your environmental footprint. With EP3 we’ve been able to cut packaging material by more than 50%. Learn more about EP3, here. By reducing the amount of packaging material for your product, you are able to reduce the overall package size, thus save on shipping costs.


Evaluate your packaging material.

There are different types of packaging material that you can use to protect your product while reducing your overall carton size. For example, using expanded polystyrene may not be the best packaging solution. Due to its material properties, it’s one of the worst packaging materials for the environment, in addition, it cannot protect against repeatable impacts, meaning you need more Expanded Polystyrene to protect your product during transit. Bubble wrap is another packaging material used mainly to fill up void space to prevent your product from shifting around during transit, therefore making your overall package larger than it needs to be. EP3 is made from recycled polyethylene, and with its cushioning curves allow for repeatable impacts, making it an optimal solution for product packaging.  EP3 is designed to protect the critical areas of our package, with the exact amount of material required.

No more, no less, and no waste.


At EPE, we believe in having a package that will withstand the test of time, which means it is the most optimized solution for your product in terms of protection, cost, and environmentally sound solution.