Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Weight Loss

By Rob Kaszubowski, CPP

Summer is officially in full gear, which means most people are enjoying some fun in the sun and out at the beach. Being out at the beach has a tendency to get people thinking about their weight, and how they could possibly slim down. However, it usually does not get people thinking about dimensional weight, and the potentially increased charges they may be paying on shipping their packaged goods.

Is your distribution packaging dimensionally obese?

What is dimensional weight, you ask? Dimensional weight is the volume of your package (L x W x D) divided by a nominal value. If the dimensional weight is greater than the actual weight of the package, you get charged for the dimensional weight. The nominal value for FedEx, and UPS is 166 for domestic shipments, and 138 for international shipments.

Example 1
You ship a widget that has a size of 16” x 16” x 4”, and has an actual weight of 4 lbs. The dimensional weight calculates as (16 x 16 x 4)/166 = 6.2 lbs. Since the dimensional weight is greater than the actual weight, you get charged the dimensional weight.
Example 2
You bulk ship multiple widgets together, which have an actual weight of 25 lbs. The shipper size is 26” x 14” x 14”. The dimensional weight calculates: (26 x 14 x 14)/166 = 30.7 lbs. Again, since the dimensional weight is greater than the actual weight, you get charged the dimensional weight.

These examples may not seem significant as individual shipments, but if you are shipping thousands of widgets, these small charges can add up in a hurry. Check out the embedded calculator as a free tool to estimate any shipping penalties your company might be paying.

Domestic Air Freight Dimensional Weight Calculator


The goal is always to ship your product in the most cost effective means possible. Based on this, the ultimate goal should be to always be as close to actual weight as possible.

If you need help assessing your current packaging, and determine if there’s an opportunity to redesign your packaging and get down to actual weight, contact the packaging engineers at Chainalytics. It’s time to kick off the summer weight loss program and get your packaging down to Actual Weight. Deep down everybody wants to lose a little weight!

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