Editors note: This post was originally published July 23, 2011 and most recently updated August 2020.
Dimensional weight (DIM) is a volumetric standard that is calculated by multiplying the length by width by height of a package and then dividing by a factor/divisor. Via dimensional weight charges, carriers like UPS and FedEx have the ability to rate lower density shipments at a higher weight…thus increasing the charge for the shipment. The DIM factor/divisor for both UPS and FedEx are updated periodically. UPS currently has a DIM factor/divisor of 139 for daily rates and 166 for retail rates. FedEx is 139. The change in DIM factor/divisor for both carriers always results in more packages being assessed a dimensional weight charge as opposed to a charge based on actual weight.
Although some companies may have been able to negotiate a custom DIM factor/divisor, thus minimizing the occurrence and additional cost associated with DIM’d packages, it is very important that shippers verify the legitimacy of each individual DIM charge appearing on their carrier’s invoice. The carriers have an automated scanning system that evaluates the need for a shipment DIM charge. In large part, the scanning system is accurate; however, if multiple packages happen to be stacked on top of each other it will likely result in an erroneous DIM assessment. If there are DIM charges appearing on your carrier’s bill for box sizes that do not represent one of your company’s standard box sizes, then it is likely that a DIM charge was incorrectly assessed and can be refunded to your account.
You can ensure the legitimacy and accuracy of your dimensional weight charges…and much more by setting up a free Lojistic account. Our platform will automatically audit your UPS and FedEx invoices (audit is free and always will be) and uncover a number of cost savings opportunities. Set up a Lojistic account today and send costs packing.