Shedding Some Light on DIM

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 11:12:00 AM

Rate increases have become commonplace in the shipping industry—somewhat of an expected change every year.

But these changes aren’t just percent increases.

Big shipping companies add a superfluity of extra fees—often called accessorial fees, and while a lot of these charges have come to light in recent years, there is one addition that many people do not pay attention to, and it may be costing them considerably more than the advertised rate increase.

It’s simply called: DIM.

What is DIM? DIM stands for dimensional weight. Essentially, a shipper will multiply the length, width, and height of a box, and divide it by the DIM Factor, to determine its shipping “weight”.

Sorting Pacakages

According to Jerry Hempstead of Hempstead Consulting, even though the tariff rate increase for UPS and FedEx was 5.9%, because of DIM weighting, rates for ground parcels (1-20lbs) shipped all over the country are likely to see a 7.5% increase. Because of this, in some cases, the increase could be nearly 9%.

With OnTrac, not only will you see fewer (and lower) accessorials, you get a higher DIM Divisor—meaning you can ship more for less. Check our rate comparison!

To read more about dimensional weighting and its impact on your shipping bill, click here for the article from DC Velocity.

Topics: DC Velocity, DIM Weight, DIM Divisor, OnTrac Shipping, OnTrac

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