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Across the courier industry, there are a number of ways to work out the dimensional weight, also known as volumetric weight, of a package. The majority of delivery services base their shipping rates on either the size or volumetric weight of a package, whichever is the greater. The bigger a shipment is, the more room it takes up on a vehicle or aircraft, and the more it costs to ship. If an item is large but light, the price will be based on the size rather than the weight. Couriers charge via volumetric weight as the more space used in their network the bigger the costs. Whenever you look to send a package using our shipping calculator it will work the same as a UPS shipping calculator or FedEx rate calculator using the dimensional weight equation.
Volumetric weight is the measurement used throughout the logistics industry to calculate how much space an item is going to take up in the courier's network. If your item is large and takes up a lot of space when being moved about, the cost is greater for the courier to cover. It doesn't matter if you are shipping internationally or within the same country, volumetric weight still applies.
The way to work out volumetric weight is-
depth x length x width in CM divided by 5000.
If this calculation exceeds the actual weight of the package, then the shipment will be priced according to this weight instead. This may only apply if you have a very large but lightweight parcel for example.
Our shipping calculator works out the volumetric weight for your exact package details making it much more simple when you have a package to ship. The couriers we offer via our shipping marketplace may use similar, but varying calculations depending on what you are shipping and to where.
We have created the Parcel Monkey shipping calculator to work out the best price for your package based on the dimensions you put it into it, so be sure to have the package packed and ready to ship when you weigh and measure it to avoid any extra charges from the couriers. If you provide the correct dimensions to us, there will be no issues.
Lots of customers ask about how to measure a package to get the dimensions, and the best way to do this is use a tape measure once your box is packed. If you don't have a tape measure to hand, have a read of our blog post about AirMeasure.
When you use the Parcel Monkey shipping calculator, it is essential you put the correct dimensions into the system in order to get a correct price for your shipment. Failing to do so could mean you could incur a charge from the courier that exceeds the additional amount you would pay by declaring your package size correctly at the time of booking. It could also mean your package is too large or heavy to be shipped via the courier you selected via our shipping calculator and will therefore be returned.
To avoid this hassle and the risk of letting down your recipient, we advise that you package the item ready to ship and then take the measurements and make the order. This will make sure that no extra weight is added and the dimensions are accurate.
We work closely with some of the biggest couriers around to provide you with the very best shipping rates and time frames. As they are the experts it is worth taking a moment to review their advice on calculating volumetric weight.
‘The cost of a shipment can be affected by the amount of space that it occupies on an aircraft, rather than the actual weight. This is the volumetric (or dimensional) weight.
The volumetric weight of a shipment is a calculation that reflects the density of a package. A less dense item generally occupies more volume of space, in comparison to its actual weight. The volumetric or dimensional weight is calculated and compared with the actual weight of the shipment to ascertain which is greater; the higher weight is used to calculate the shipment cost.’
The UPS calculator works in the same way as Parcel Monkey, calculating the dimensional weight based on the details provided by the shipper.
UPS advise- ‘Dimensional weight reflects package density, which is the amount of space a package occupies in relation to its actual weight. Dimensional weight may apply to all UPS domestic and international services. Billable weight is the weight used to calculate the rate. For domestic and international services, the billable weight will be the greater of the dimensional weight as compared to actual weight.’
Packages that exceed UPS weight and size limits may not be accepted for transportation the same with all couriers so be sure to declare the dimensions correctly.