DIM Weight and Why It Is Your (and the Environment's) Best Friend

April 30, 2018
Author: Caroline McManus

There’s more than just your bottom-line at stake when it comes to shipping costs. Sure, if you use the smallest box or packaging it costs less to ship items to your customers. And that’s good for your profits. But shrinking packaging also reduces waste. And that’s good for the environment.

Why should we care? According to Earth911 making one ton of virgin cardboard requires three tons of trees. Plus, manufacturing less cardboard and packaging reduces production waste and potential landfill waste.

We know product packaging is not going away. Forrester predicts that online sales will account for 17 percent of all U.S. retail sales by 2022. That means more packaging. But we can find ways to reduce the size of packaging by eliminating volume waste. In fact, over the last few years, major shippers—like Fed Ex® and UPS®—have moved to dimensional weight (DIM) pricing.



What is dimensional weight (DIM)? DIM is an estimated weight calculated from the length, width and height of a package. For example, if you are shipping a 2 lb item, but place it in a box that has more volume than the item requires, the shipping weight could be many pounds more than the item based on the dimensions of the box. And, it could cost you more than it would with a smaller box. 



So, how can you cut your shipping costs and reduce your environmental footprint? Start by looking at the sizes and weights of the packages you ship most frequently, especially those that are large and lightweight to determine how you can make improvements.  

Then, check out our easy-to-use Dimensional (DIM) Weight Calculator and Resource Center. Here you can:

  • Select a carrier—from UPS to Fed Ex to USPS and more—then enter the length, width and height (in inches) of your parcel and our calculator will instantly determine the dimensional weight of your package. You’ll also find the various dimensional weight policies of the top parcel shipping carriers.
  • Watch a video for a quick tutorial on how DIM weight pricing can impact your parcel shipping costs and download a free copy of our simple, one-page reference guide that explains the basics of DIM including what it is and how it's calculated.
  • Learn about DIM weight measurement solutions!

Smaller is better!


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