Actual weight is exactly what the shipment weighs, it includes the product and all packaging. Dimensional weight refers to the amount of space your shipment takes up on a truck. Dimensional weight, or DIM weight, is calculated by multiplying the length, width, and height of your shipment, and dividing the total by the dimensional factor.
The dimensional factor is typically different for domestic and international shipments. However, the basic rule of thumb is a dimensional factor of 139 for domestic, and 166 for international.
Space on a truck is limited so dimensional weight is an industry-wide pricing practice used to establish a minimum charge for cubic space occupied by a package. As such, a lightweight/low density shipment becomes unprofitable for shipping companies due to the amount of space the shipment takes up in proportion to its weight.
Because the price of your shipment will be determined by whichever is greater: the actual weight of your shipment, or the dimensional weight of your shipment. This becomes your Billable Weight.
So, why does dimensional weight matter? Dimensional weight rewards those who pack their shipments efficiently. For example, if you have a large box of feathers, you are more likely to be charged for the dimensional weight. The size of the shipment will be greater than the weight of the shipment.
It’s important to be aware that dimensional weight exists and that you can be charged for a shipment based on that rate. But don’t worry, your US Express Logistics Consultant can help you calculate your rate and determine the best way to ship your goods!