Digging in to Dim Weight

Posted by Sharon Kendrew on May 9, 2016 11:00:00 AM
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My shipment weighs 300 lbs., but my bill shows it was "recalculated" to 570 lbs. What is dim weight and why was I charged more? 

Recently we posted a blog, The Dim Weight Dilemma that addressed this question and provided an in-depth explanation of how a shipment's weight can change, even when the scale doesn't.

But you're back for more so I'd like to break it down and dig into dim weight a little deeper. Whether you are looking for an easier way to plan your trade show shipping or general freight shipping, working on event planning logistics or preparing for the Jeopardy! category "All Things Shipping", this information should prove useful.

Ready to wow your friends and family and be the freight logistics expert you have always dreamed of being???

Here are our top three frequently answered questions: 

1 - What it is

Wikipedia defines dimensional weight, as "a pricing technique for commercial freight transport (including courier and postal services), which uses an estimated weight calculated from the length, width and height of a package."

It's a method the shipping and trucking industry uses to determine the true cost of moving a shipment based on the amount of space it takes up. 

2 - What it isn't

It's not a "pricing scheme" created by 3PL companies to take more money out of your budget

It's not a complicated, convoluted mathematical formula

3 - What's the Cost

So will "dimming" your freight cost you more? 

Yes. Or no. It really depends on the size and weight of your pallets, crates or cases. Let's look at this from another perspective.
 
Let's say your rent out your spare bedrooms through AirBnB. You have four empty bedrooms in your house that you rent out on a regular basis. Each room you rent out requires that you change the bedding and clean the room after each guest departs and before a new one arrives... or so we hope.
 
If a family books your home for a night and they want to use all four rooms, you would charge them for each of the rooms used, right?
 
Why?
 
Because they are using the space.
 
However if all family members squeeze into one bed and share one room, you would charge them for the room, or space, used. 
 
The same rule applies when calculating the weight of your shipment. 
 
Dimensionalizing the freight ensures that the carrier is compensated fairly for the amount of space taken up in the truck. 
 
So to recap:
 
Dim weight = everyone has a bed to sleep in.
 
And that's really good news for those families that travel with stinky Uncle Joe.
 
Looking for a way to dim your shipment? Try out our fancy shmancy Dim Weight calculator - 
 
Dim weight calculator
 

Topics: Logistics

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