Have you ever wondered why often, when a transport company weights your parcel their measure is different from your own?
Shipping costs have been traditionally calculated on the gross weight of the parcels being delivered. This system made low density packages very unprofitable to freight carriers because of the large space taken by these parcels in trucks and containers in proportion to their actual weights. The concept of dimensional weight or volumetric weight was internationally adopted by the transportation industry as a way to overcome this problem and provide a guide for a charge a cubic space a package occupies.
So how does it work?
The dimensional or volumetric weight is calculate by multiplying length, width, and height and dividing by a ‘dimensional factor’. This ‘dimensional factors’ have been established and standarised by major carriers based on the average densities and weights of parcels and whether it is domestic or international deliveries. For example, this are the dimensional factors utilised for some major international freight carriers:
- DHL: (L cm × W cm × H cm)/5000 or 4000 depending on certain import/country criteria
- FedEx: (L cm × W cm × H cm)/6000 (new) or /5000 (old, still used in Asia) for international shipments, (L cm x W cm x H cm)/7000 for domestic shipments
- UPS: (L cm × W cm × H cm)/6000 or /5000 depending on certain import/country criteria
Dimensional weight favors shippers of dense objects and penalizes those who ship lightweight boxes. For that reason, may shippers try to compress their goods and reduce the use of packing materials. For example, the same book will cost less to send on a plastic envelope than in a heavy padded one…
You can find out more details at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimensional_weight
At Deadline Couriers we also use this system for our transport services. This however does not stop us to take any size or any volume you require, we can handle it all and anywhere.