by shahzad.akram

Not Sure How to Work Out a Parcel’s Volumetric Weight?

Volumetric weight is an overlooked but vital process in shipping. Every package in the global logistics chain is measured using volumetric weight calculations.

What is Volumetric Weight?

Volumetric weight also known as dimensional weight is a pricing method used to calculate the weight of a parcel by multiplying the length, width, and height of a package.

what is volumetric weight

Volumetric Weight v Actual Weight

The size of a package matters with measuring volumetric weight. The amount of space a package will take up can be more important than the weight of a package.

For example, if there are two boxes - one that is a large cardboard box and weighs 5kg and a much smaller flat parcel box weighing 20kg, a carrier might charge more for the large 5kg box, than the small 20kg box, because the large box will take up more space.

The chargeable weight of a package is the gross or volumetric weight, whichever one is the greater. Carriers price the cost for shipping large packages on the size of the box, not the weight and the price for shipping a smaller parcel will be based on the weight, not the size.

Why Carriers Use Volumetric Weight

Vehicles used to transport goods whether that be a van, truck or airplane all have weight and size capacities. Companies will earn revenue based on this. For example a 5kg large box that is full of packing peanuts and hardly weighs anything, may quickly take up the space inside the back of a van, but it won’t fill the vehicle’s weight capacity.

A 20kg flat parcel box, that is much smaller than the large box but weighs more, will reach the vehicle’s weight capacity, but it might leave the vehicle over half empty. The carriers use a weight-to-volume formula to consider this. Volumetric weight can differ depending on the carrier and the transportation method used.

How is Volumetric Weight Calculated?

Below are the standard volumetric weight formulas used by most carriers:

Air Freight 1 cubic metre = 167 kilograms
Sea Freight 1 cubic metre = 1,000 kilograms
Road Freight 1 cubic metre = 333 kg

Most carriers, including World Options shipping partners, UPS, FedEx, DHL equate 1 cubic metre with 200 kg (1 cmb = 200kg), although TNT equate 1 cubic metre with 250 kg (1 cmd = 250 kg).

How To Calculate Volumetric Weight

1) Calculate the package volume. For example, if your package has the dimensions of: 18in(length) X 12in(width) X 8.5in(height) this equals: 1836 cubic inches.

2) Take this number and divide it by the dim divisor. Every carrier has its dim divisor. In this example, we would be shipping with UPS and we would use UPS’s dim divisor of 139 - which gives us a total of: 1836 / 139 = 13 pounds.

3) If the actual weight of the package is less than the dimensional weight, then the carrier will quote you on the dimensional weight as is it the greater number.

4) If the actual weight is more than the dimensional weight, the dimensional pricing quote will be based on the actual weight.

Not sure how to measure the volumetric weight of a package? We can help, existing World Options customers can contact their account manager directly for assistance.

Not already using World Options, request an account, you’ll be assigned to an account manager who will help you can get access to reduced business shipping rates and help assist you. Click the link below to sign up.


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written by shahzad.akram

12th February 2020

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