The FedEx Dimensional Weight Explained
The FedEx dimensional weight can cause a lot of problems for customers. As a company that processes a tremendous amount of shipping data, we see a lot of issues with this.
One of the common issues we see is being billed at dimensional weight versus actual weight. So what does that even mean? To be able to understand how carrier pricing works, you have to look at three variables. The first variable is the service type that you are using. For example, with FedEx that could be a priority overnight shipment or a ground shipment. A priority overnight shipment is going to cost more than a ground shipment.
The second variable is the zone that you are using. So, in the United States, there are zones two through six. Now, the higher the zone the more expensive the rate for that particular package. Then, the third variable is billable weight. The higher the billable weight the more expensive the package. So those are the three variables that go into carrier pricing or that affect carrier pricing.
What You're Paying For With FedEx Dimensional Weight
Now, let's look a little closer at the billable weight and what that means. First, we have to know what actual weight and dimensional weight are. So actual weight is self-explanatory. You have a package, let's say it's 12 x 12 x 12 and it weighs nine pounds. Now, if we're billing only based on the actual weight the dimensions are irrelevant. That's a nine-pound package, so you're going to have a bill for nine pounds.
What FedEx does to account for package density is they look at the dimensions of a package. So for example, let's say you have the same nine-pound package in a box that is 12 x 12 x 12. FedEx is going to multiply those dimensions by a dimensional divisor or DIM divisor of 139. 139 is the standard DIM divisor. Now, what that comes out to are 13 pounds. So in this particular example, FedEx is going to bill you at 13 pounds instead of 9. So, the 13 pounds is the FedEx dimensional weight. They do this to account for the package density or lack thereof. This is to discourage customers from shipping light packages in big boxes. So the way they account for this is by looking at the FedEx dimensional weight.
How To Make It More Cost-Effective For You
So there are two ways you can address FedEx dimensional weight. First, look at your actual packaging! Make sure you are optimizing your packaging to make sure you are not shipping air or dead space. This is an obvious solution. Another one that a lot of customers don't realize is to look at the DIM divisor.
So, as I mentioned, the current DIM divisor for FedEx is 139. That DIM divisor, before 2017, was 166. So, by negotiating an improved DIM divisor in your FedEx agreement you can lower the bill. Let's look at the same example we used earlier. That 12 x 12 x 12 package at a DIM divisor of 139 came out to 13 pounds. FedEx is going to bill you at 13 pounds because 13 pounds is greater than the actual weight of 9 pounds. Now let's say you were to negotiate an improved DIM divisor of 166. 12 x 12 x 12 divided by 166 comes out to 11 pounds. So in that same example, FedEx would bill you at 11 pounds versus 9 pounds.
How To Track The Impact
Still, you're getting a bill for a dimensional weight but you're getting the bill for two pounds less. So are you curious how the FedEx dimensional weight is impacting your business? Well, the Lojistic platform is a free tool you can use! You can connect your carrier and see if you are being billed at dimensional weight or actual weight. It will show you the impact that the FedEx dimensional weight is having on your business.