Understanding DIM Weight and Tips for Minimizing Charges

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 11:29:00 PM

All package delivery carriers have the option to DIM Weight a package.  DIM Weight is short for dimensional weight.  Carriers take measurements of your package and divide it by an industry standard number to come up with the DIM Weight pounds to get the actual price of your shipment.  Dimensional weighing of packages is typically reserved for packages that are very light, but packed in a very large box.  The larger box takes up more space in a transportation vehicle and therefore needs to be invoiced at a higher rate. 

The formula looks like this: 

                    L x W x H  = DIM Weight                                   

                    DIM Divisor

For instance, if your package is L = 10, W = 10, H = 10, the equation would be:

                   10 x 10 x 10 =  5.15 


194 is the industry standard for the DIM Divisor.  Some carriers, such as OnTrac, have different DIM divisors.  The OnTrac DIM Divisor is 200, currently.  In the equation above, this small package would have a DIM Weight of only 5 lbs.  With rounding, a small difference in weight can make a difference in overall price.  As packages get bigger, the difference is larger, which translates into larger price differentials. 

Some tips for minimizing DIM charges:

1) Invest in Proper Packaging:  Often employees will use whatever box is available.  Sometimes, a small item will be packed in a very large box, which is sure to be weighed dimensionally.  Make sure you have boxes of many different sizes available so employees that are shipping can choose the proper size box for the shipment.

2) Educate Employees:  When you educate employees about dimensional weight, they will be better able to choose the right size box and packaging to ensure the safe transport of their packages as well as minimize shipping charges. 

Dimensional weighing of packages keeps the costs lower for all shippers.  By selecting proper packaging and educating employees, you can ensure that your company is making your shipping as cost-effective as possible.   

Topics: DIM Weight, dimensional weighing, DIM Divisor