Dimensional weight affects all our customers who wish to ship internationally by any of the private carriers (everything but the USPS). Dimensional weight is found using a common formula, used by the carriers, and meant to fairly parse the cargo plane’s resources (weight and size limits) across the parcels utilizing them.
When shipping carriers like FedEx, UPS, or DHL load their cargo planes to transport packages internationally, every square centimeter or inch of that plane’s storage and every kilogram or pound of that plane’s weight bearing limit has a value.
For the purpose of profitability, there is a dimensional weight calculator for both metric and imperial units. This calculation determines the dimensional weight (also called volumetric weight) of the package. The carriers use the greater of the two weights – actual weight or dimensional weight – to determine the postage they will charge.
It’s easy to understand that the postage for an incredibly heavy item would cost a lot more than a really light item. It is also generally the case that the larger a parcel is, the heavier it is. Sometimes though, a parcel is larger than the weight would suggest. In these cases, the shipping carriers calculate shipping costs based on the size of a package rather than its weight.
Hence, always look at the shipping dimensions when buying, forwarding or posting. Calculating the postage based on formula given by the carriers is highly recommended so that you do not end up buying something that costs more to ship than it is worth to you.
Vyking Ship uses the United States Postal Service (USPS), DHL and FedEx for our shipments because we’ve found they offer the best mix of rates for all package sizes and weights.
While USPS does not use dimensional weight, they have stricter maximum size and weight limitations. However, their rates are based solely on actual weight. DHL and FedEx, on the other hand, will always use the greater of the two weights: actual or dimensional, when they provide us with postage quotes.
Use FedEx’s calculator to help you determine what your package’s dimensional weight pricing would be. DHL calls it Volumetric weight and their calculation is the same.