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New FedEx and UPS Dimensional Weight Pricing Rules

Dim Weight Rules on ALL packages go into effect December 29th, 2014 for UPS and January 1st, 2015 for FedEx.  This change will increase pricing on over 70% of all shipments sent by FedEx and UPS.

If you have not already looked into how you will be affected by this change and made the proper steps to minimize or eliminate the additional cost associated with this change you could be facing a substantial increase in your transportation spend come 2015. 

Currently dimensional pricing is enforced on all Express packages and only on Ground packages exceeding 3 cubic feet or 5,184 cubic inches.  This rule is to offset the added space taken up by light weight, high volume packages that cause carriers to “bulk out” before reaching weight capacity for transport.  Carriers are hoping the new dimensional weight rule being implemented for all packages being shipped will not only increase their revenue, but also force shippers to become more proactive with their packaging.
How do you calculate your dimensional weight?  The formulas below will assist you in determining what your dim weight is as a comparison to your actual package weight to get billable weight.
  1. Measure your package.  Package size is not necessarily what the box manufacturer states them to be.  Measure the length, width, and height of your package taking into consideration any bulge, irregular shape, or warped sections as they need to be incorporated into the total volume. (1.00 – 1.49 inches = 1 inch / 1.50 – 1.99 = 2 inches)
  2. Calculate Cubic Size.  Multiply Length (L) x Width (W) x Height (H) in inches
  3. Divide by the Dimensional Factor.  Current dim factor for ground shipments is 166 and for international air shipments it is 139.  The carrier may change these, so please check back with us or your carrier to insure proper calculations.  Last change was in 2011.
  4. Round Up to the Nearest Whole Number.  Make sure you round up your dim weight.
Dim Weight Calculation Examples:
You’re ready to ship your package via UPS of FedEx ground service and have measured your box at 18” x 16” x 22” with an actual weight of 56lbs.
  1. Get Cubic Size.  Multiply 18 x 16 x 22 = 6336 cubic inches
  2. Calculate Dim Weight. 6336 cubic inches divided by 166 = 38.17 lbs., or 39 lbs.
Since your actual weight is more than the dim weight of 39lbs your pricing will be based on the actual weight.  Now, if your package weight was 25lbs in the same box, your billable weight will be 39lbs.
So, what options do you have in order to curb the effects of these new pricing rules? 
  1. Compare Rates.  Check with regional carriers and the United States Parcel Service as they do not measure dim weight in the same manner.
  2. Analyze Packaging.  Are your boxes and packaging procedures sloppy increasing your risk for dimensional weight pricing?  Consider alternative packaging measures to reduce the overall volume.  Even an inch will make a difference.
  3. Negotiate Carrier Contracts.  Open up communication with UPS and/or FedEx to get a waiver on this new rule or negotiate alternative rates to offset the overall increase anticipated. 
Ship Watchers works with all of our clients to insure they are ahead of the curve and prepared in advance for price increases.  Check in with us today to get an analysis of how your shipping will be effected by the new dimensional weight pricing rules along with great insight into measures you can take to minimize or even eliminate your exposure to these rules.
24/7 Support including Chat can be found at or by emailing us at  To speak with an Account Executive, please contact us at 800.550.7217 ext. 856.


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  1. Rick R.

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  1. Zella Hadden

    6336 cubic inches divided by soundcloud downloader 166 = 38.17 lbs., or 39 lbs.