Complete Guidance to Dimensional Weight

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In dropshipping industry, product weight is one of the important factors that affect shipping costs. Typically, the heavier the product, the more expensive it is to ship, which is why most people only dropship for light products. However, did you know that sometimes product size can also result in higher than expected shipping costs? This is because most shipping companies use dimensional weight to calculate shipping costs when shipping lightweight products.

So what is dimensional weight? How to know the exact shipping cost of the product you want to buy by looking at the dimensional weight? In this article, we answer your questions about dimensional weight. Let's get started now!


What is Dimensional Weight?


Dimensional weight, also known as "DIM" weight, is a concept used by trucking companies. It is often used to transport light cargo or items that take up a lot of space. Each time you use a shipping company to dropship your products, you will be charged based on actual or dimensional weight.

If you want to determine whether the package should be charged by dimensional weight, you need to use the formula provided by the shipping company to calculate the dimensional weight. Then you should compare the dimensional weight to the actual weight. If the dimensional weight is higher than the actual weight, the item is an oversized item and should be charged by dimensional weight. 

In the eCommerce industry, most dropshippers often worry about whether their products will be charged based on DIM weight, because it means the dropshipper needs to pay more for shipping cheaper products.


How to check shipping cost by volume weight? 

Generally, the shipping cost of the package is assessed based on the actual weight of the package. This method is useful for shippers and shipping companies to know how much it might cost to ship a package. But this method is only applicable when the actual weight is greater than the volumetric weight.

Otherwise, when the calculated volumetric weight is greater than the actual weight, the shipping company will charge the freight according to the volumetric weight. Since shipping lines have to make sure they don't lose money, using dimensional weight is a great solution.

So, sometimes you may need to pay 4kg for shipping even though the actual weight of a package is 3kg. Therefore, to look up shipping rates using dimensional weight, you first need to calculate the dimensional weight. Once the dimensional weight is determined, it is necessary to compare the dimensional weight to the actual weight.

If the volumetric weight is greater than the actual weight, then you can use the reference price list provided by the shipping company for volume inquiry. If the actual weight is greater than the dimensional weight, then you should use the actual weight to check the reference price list to see how much the shipping cost will be.


Why Sometimes It’s Hard to Determine Dimensional Weight? 

Lack of the Package Information

At times, determining whether a product should use dimensional weight can be a headache for many shippers. This is not because the formula is difficult or because the drop shipper made a mistake, but even if the drop shipper is very smart, sometimes it is still difficult to know the exact dimensional weight of the package.

After all, the essence of the dropshipping business is that merchants don't have to hold product inventory. And this property sometimes leads to problems of uncertainty.

For example, sometimes even if you know the basic size information of the product you are selling, you still may not know how big the package is. Because different shipping companies have different packaging methods and standards, different staff may also use large boxes to pack products. So sometimes you can't know what the shipping cost will be until the package is ready to ship.

Packages Sometimes Need Extra Protection 

In addition, when shipping sensitive or fragile items, couriers need to take some special measures to ensure that the package does not break on the way.

For example, many companies use bubble wrap to protect fragile parts of their products. Sometimes they also need to add the necessary air-fill space in the package. Although these production methods can prevent the product from being damaged during transportation, they will eventually lead to an increase in transportation costs.


The above is the relevant knowledge and answers about dimensional weight prepared by USAdrop for you. Follow USAdrop to get more industry knowledge!