Saving Money On Shipping Even with Dimensional Weight

If you are in the packaging and shipping world, even if its distributing shipping supplies and not actually doing the packaging or shipping, then you probably know what dimensional weight is.  If you don’t know what dimensional weight is, you probably aren’t even reading this post, but I will still take a minute to make sure that we are all (present or not) starting out on the same page.


Dimensional weight is the volume of any given package (DIM weight, for short).  For shipping purposes, this refers to the amount of space a package takes up, and not what it actually weighs.  So if your brain is beginning to wonder at the possibilities, then wonder no more.  Yes, it will cost more to ship a large box of pillows than it will cost to ship a smaller box of rocks.  Seems kind of ridiculous?  Maybe.


Maybe not.  With ecommerce at an all time high, companies aren’t paying close attention to the size of what they are sending.  Ever gotten a package in the mail and the item was about a quarter of the size of the box being used?  This oversight costs a shipping carrier money.  Don’t worry, there are still ways you can save money, even with dimensional weight:

  1. Even decreasing a box size by a couple inches will greatly decrease the dimensional weight. If you are shipping pillows, for example, what about vacuum sealing them?  This will not only save you on shipping supplies, but on dimensional weight as well.
  2. Talk to your shipping carriers, especially if they are FedEx or UPS. Go over your contract and negotiate a rate based on your shipping volume, how much you ship with them over a given period of time.  This is a really great way to save the most money.  If you do a lot of shipping, any carrier will recognize your potential.  If not, you can take your business elsewhere.
  3. On the other hand, you might need to consider splitting your shipping options. You might need to go with with a different carrier for your larger, lightweight options and stay with FedEx or UPS for the smaller stuff.  Try to negotiate a rate, first, but if that fails you have other options.
  4. Quite simple, pay attention to the size of the item you are shipping and the size of the package. Just because you have shipping supplies laying around doesn’t mean you should use them.  There is going to be a lot of waste if you go this route.  Not only for you, but for your carrier, and even for your customer.