We’re tackling a tricky subject—dimensional weight. A basic understanding of this topic can save your business a lot of money in the long run. It’s even more important now that the USPS® is changing its dimensional weight policy for the June 23, 2019 rate change. We’ve complied the most common dimensional weight questions we get from customers. It covers what is dimensional weight, how to calculate dimensional weight, which carriers use dimensional weight, and more!

What is dimensional weight?

Dimensional weight is used to calculate the shipping cost of larger packages with lower weights, aka light packages that take up a lot of valuable space in a delivery truck or airplane.

Why is dimensional weight important?

Because of dimensional weight, sending large, bulky packages can get expensive and negatively affect your business’s bottom line.

Businesses should be aware of dimensional weight pricing and try to fit packages in the smallest packaging available. You can also explore flat rate shipping options to be sure that your shipments won’t be charged based off of their dimensional weight.

How is dimensional weight calculated?

Dimensional weight is calculated by multiplying the length, width, and height (L x W x H) of a package and rounding up. If the result is greater than 1,728 cubic inches (1 cubic foot) divide by the correct divisor below.

  • UPS® and FedEx® divisor: 139
  • USPS® divisor: changing from 194 to 166

If you want to make the process of calculating dimensional weight simple you can just use our DIM weight calculator. If you want to make it even easier our NeoShip online shipping software calculates dimensional weight so you don’t have. It even creates IM®pb compliant shipping labels.

Which carriers use dimensional weight?

The major carriers, FedEx®, UPS®, and USPS®, all use dimensional weight to price lighter packages that take up valuable space in a delivery truck or airplane. Although the USPS® dimensional weight divisor is changing, they still offer the best dimensional weight pricing. The USPS® dimensional weight divisor is 166 while the divisor for UPS® and FedEx® is 139. Here’s a trick to remembering: the lower the divisor the more expensive it is to ship your package.

What is changing June 23, 2019?

The USPS® DIM weight divisor is changing from 194 to 166. So if your business ships larger, lightweight items you’ll want to listen closely as to what services are affected and how you can keep your shipping invoices down after this change.

Starting June 23, DIM weight pricing will affect Priority Mail®, Priority Mail Express®, and Parcel Select Ground packages that are over one cubic foot. 

If you use the following USPS Services get ready to use DIM weight:

  • Priority Mail®
  • Priority Mail Express®
  • Parcel Select Ground
What is considered a package?

Per the USPS, if your mail piece isn’t a postcard, letter or a flat (large envelope), then it is a parcel! A parcel is usually anything that is larger than 3 inches high x 6 inches long x ¼ inch thick. However, when it doubt, measure anything that is not a letter that looks like it may qualify for dimensional weight pricing.

Is dimensional weight required for padded envelope shipments?

Most standard sized padded envelopes will not be subject to DIM weight. However, it is always important to measure your packaging to see if it is larger than 1 cubic foot (over 1,728 cubic inches) and therefore subject to dimensional weight pricing.

For more information about dimensional weight and the June 23, 2019 rate change please visit our Postal Rate Information page. For specific instructions on how to enter dimensional weight into your Neopost postage meter visit the Neopost Knowledgebase

We are here to help you navigate this change, if you have any questions please use our chat bot our contact us directly. If you are interested in NeoShip shipping software to help make shipping easy call a shipping specialist today 877.888.0677.