Is The UPS Billable Weight Costing You More Important Money?

Jared Fisher

July 11, 2019


UPS Billable Weight Is Important To Understand

UPS billable weight is an important topic worth talking about. There are a couple of variables that go into determining UPS billable weight.

So, shipping rates depend on three variables. You have the service you are using such as Next Day Air versus 2 Day Air versus Ground. Next, you have the zone that the shipment is being shipped to. For example, this could be Zone 2 through Zone 6 in the domestic US. Then you have the billable weight. So, the higher the UPS billable weight the more expensive a UPS package is.

How Do You Figure Out UPS Billable Weight?

Now, what goes into determining billable weight? For you to understand billable weight, we have to look at a couple more variables. First, you have to look at the actual weight. This would be when you take a package and you place it on a scale.

So, UPS dimensional weight is reflective of the packing density. UPS likes denser packages. They're trying to avoid you, as the shipper, shipping out light packages in big boxes that take up space. The way they account for this is by determining the dimensional weight. Now, let's say you have a package that is 12 x 12 x 12, and this package weighs nine pounds. This means the actual weight is nine pounds. UPS will then determine the dimensional weight of this package.

Important Facts

So, the dimensional weight of a 12 x 12 x 12 package using the standard DIM divisor of 139 is going to be 13 pounds. Next what UPS does is compare the actual weight of nine pounds and the dimensional weight of 13 pounds. They then will bill you the greater of the two. So in this case, the billable weight that's going to show up on your bill is the dimensional weight of 13 pounds.

Now, there are a couple of different ways you, as a shipper, can address dimensional weight. You want to have the bill for the actual weight as often as possible. If you have the bill for the dimensional weight it is due to the dimensional weight being greater. So, one way you can account for this is by optimizing your packaging. This is a practice a lot of shippers look at as a way to address this issue.

Ways To Save

Another way you can address this is by negotiating an improved dimensional divisor. So, as I mentioned, the standard dimensional divisor for UPS is 139. The higher the DIM divisor, the more that benefits you. So, in the same example of a 12 x 12 x 12 package, if we had a DIM divisor of 166 you're going to have a lower-dimensional weight. With a DIM divisor of 166, the same package would be 11 pounds instead of 13 pounds. So, a two-pound difference.

You're still getting the bill for a dimensional weight of 11 pounds versus the actual weight of 9 pounds. But, as you can see, you're paying at a lesser weight, which means you're paying less for that package. So another way you can address this is by negotiating a dimensional divisor.

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