UPS and FedEx rang in the New Year with ground service rate changes based on dimensional weight. Dimensional weight shipping is not a new concept and is now being applied to smaller packages.
What is “dimensional weight” and how is it calculated?
Multiply the outside measurements of a box (length x width x height). Then divide the answer by the applicable UPS and FedEx dimensional factor (166 for domestic shipments or 139 for international). The result is the dimensional weight. A 12”-cube box measures 13”x 13”x 13” on the outside. Its dimensional weight for domestic shipping is 14 pounds. Even if the actual weight of the box is five pounds, the shipping rate is calculated using 14 pounds. If the box weighs more than 14 pounds, it ships at the actual weight.
See FedEx and UPS Dimensional Weight Change for 2015: Time to Measure the Cost, a blog post by Charles Moore of Parcel Logistics, for an excellent discussion about dimensional weight shipping.
USPS Priority Mail can be used effectively for domestic shipping of smaller items and for items with a value under $50. UPS and FedEx are typically more cost effective than Priority Mail for domestic ground shipping of 12”-cube boxes and larger, and for items with a value over $50.
Non-fragile items should be packed in the smallest box possible to accommodate the item without causing the box to bulge. A two-pound box of shoes measuring 13”x 11”x 5” should be packaged in a 14”x 12”x 6” box, not a 14”x 14”x 14” box. The domestic dimensional weight for the smaller box is seven pounds; the larger is 17 pounds. Fragile items require more protection (see Packaging Fine China and Crystal).
Shipping stores like Pak Mail pack items securely and cost effectively by choosing the appropriate box for each shipment. Pak Mail is authorized to ship with UPS, FedEx, USPS, and DHL. Pak Mail helps its customers choose the best shipping option for each situation.