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What is dimensional (or volumetric) weight?

The dimensional weight (volumetric weight) of an item is calculated by applying the cubing rule; the rule
ensures that the price charged for lightweight packages (low density shipments) adequately covers the cost of transportation for the space occupied. The cubing rule is widely used in the transportation industry. As per the International Air Transport Association (IATA) cubing rule, all charges are based on a minimum density of 1 kilogram per 6,000 cubic centimetres or 10 pounds per cubic foot.

For standard size packages carriers use actual shipping weight to determine the billable weight. For oversize packages carriers use Dimensional weight to determine billable weight. Dimensional weight considers the amount of space a package occupies in relation to its actual weight. To determine if dimensional weight applies to your shipment you need to determine cubic size.

How To Measure the Cubic Size of Your Package?

  • Formula L(in) x W(in) x H(in) (If weight is in pounds): Calculate the cubic size of your package by multiplying the height in inches, by the length in inches, by the width in inches. Round each measurement to the nearest whole inch. The resulting total is the cubic size of your package.
  • Formula L(cm) x W(cm) x H(cm) (If weight is in kilograms): Calculate the cubic size of your package by multiplying the height in centimetres, by the length in centimetres, by the width in centimetres. Round each measurement to the nearest whole centimetre. The resulting total is the cubic size of your package.

Determine Dimensional Weight

  • Canada Post
    • Formula L(cm) x W(cm) x H(cm) / 6000 or L(in) x W(in) x H(in) / 166 for all location
    • The actual weight cannot exceed 30kg (66lbs), but it is possible that the dimentional (volumetric) weight could exceed 30kg(66lbs).
  • UPS
    • Formula L(in) x W(in) x H(in) / 225
    • For UPS Ground Shipments: If the cubic size of the package is 5,184 or larger, divide the cubic size by 225 to determine dimensional weight in pounds. If the cubic size is less than 5,184, use the actual weight of the package.
    • For UPS Air Shipments: Divide the cubic size by 225 to determine dimensional weight in pounds. Any fraction of a pound will be calculated at the next highest rate.
  • FedEx
    • Formula L(cm) x W(cm) x H(cm) / 6000 or L(in) x W(in) x H(in) / 166 for intra-canada
    • Formula L(cm) x W(cm) x H(cm) / 5000 or L(in) x W(in) x H(in) / 139 for USA and international
    • If the cubic size of FedEx Ground package measures 3 cubic feet (5,184 cubic inches or 84,951 cubic centimetres) or greater, you will be charged the greater of the dimensional weight or the actual weight. Shipping charges for packages smaller than 3 cubic feet are based on actual weight. A package weighing 150 lbs. (68 kg) or less and measuring greater than 130 inches (330 cm) in combined length and girth will be classified by FedEx Ground as an “Oversize” package. All packages must have a combined length and girth of no more than 165 inches (419 cm). An oversize charge per package will apply to any package measuring greater than 130 inches (330 cm) in combined length and girth.

Determine Billable Weight

  • Compare each package's actual weight to its dimensional weight. The larger of the two weights is the billable weight and should be used to calculate the rate.

 

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