Are You Ready For UPS & FedEx Dimensional Weight Pricing?



UPS and FedEx will begin charging by dimensional weight on December 29 and January 1, respectively.

Instead of charging by weight alone, packages will now be charged according to size. This means that box dimensions are now more (or equally) as important as weight.

Industry experts predict that approximately one-third of all packages will be affected by this change.

Are you ready?

We’ve talked about it before, but this is a BIG change for e-commerce, and we want to make sure you’re ready.

Here are some steps you can take to prepare:

1. Educate yourself about dimensional weight on our blog, or on FedEx and UPS’s websites.  

As a refresher, dimensional weight, also known as “DIM weight”, looks at the package’s volume, or the amount of space a package occupies on a truck or a plane.

To determine dimensional weight, you will measure the package’s length, width and height at its longest points and round up to the nearest whole number (1.50 to 1.99 is considered 2). Then, divide the total by a dimensional factor, which is 166 for UPS and FedEx domestic shipments and 139 for UPS and FedEx international shipments.

2. Learn how dimensional weight applies to your specific shipments. 

If you don’t like math, you can use FedEx and UPS’s handy dimensional weight calculators.

You can also determine dimensional weight on domestic packages with this easy equation.


(Image courtesy of UPS)

Here’s a practical example of what this looks like for a domestic shipment.

Let’s say you’re shipping a domestic ground package in a 12x12x12 box. It weighs 4 pounds, and it’s going in Zone 2.

Your calculation would be 12x12x12 / 166 = 10.4 dimensional weight (round up to 11).

The dimensional weight (11 lbs) is greater than the actual weight (4 lbs). Therefore, you’ll be billed for an 11 pound package.  This results in a 24% price increase for this package, compared to non-dimensional weight rates.


3. Audit your most recent shipments.

Have the dimensions been correct on the packages you’ve sent recently? If not, you have work to do! Make sure you fix dimensions now so that future packages will be charged correctly and will avoid additional surcharges.


4. Within ShipWorks, make sure you are entering accurate box dimensions for all of your shipments.



5. If you’ve customized your shipping rules or profiles with dimensions, review them and verify that they are correct. 

If you don’t remember if you’ve created shipping rules or profiles with specific dimensions, we’ve created this short video to help.


6. Are you using ShipSense?

If you’re using ShipSense, it will “remember” your shipping information and automatically populate the weight and dimensions so that you don’t have to retype it.

Keep in mind that ShipSense is only as smart as the information you tell it. Make sure the dimensions you enter the first time are correct, so that future shipment dimensions are correct too.

7. Are you shipping to Canada with UPS Standard? 

Effective December 29, dimensional weight will be used to calculate the weight of all UPS Standard to Canada packages.

For international export and import shipments, you will divide the cubic size by 139.



8. Audit your entire shipping process and adjust as needed.

There is no doubt that the transition to dimensional weight is is going to be a big change for many businesses. However, with a little planning, you can make sure you don’t overspend on shipping in 2015.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

1. Am I using a box that fits my packages as closely as possible? Can I put any of my items in Poly Mailers instead of boxes?

2. Are my current shipping methods still the best methods to ship, or are other less-expensive options available?

3. Can I negotiate better rates with my carrier?

4. Do I need to adjust shipping charges for my customers?

Do you need more help or have another question? We’re here to help and we have FREE phone and email support. Send us a message or give us a call and someone from our awesome customer support team in St. Louis will get back to you.