What is the Difference Between Volume and Weight-Based Pricing?

Learn about the difference between volume and weight based pricing for your shipment
weight-based pricing
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When it comes to shipping packages, you’ll either pay based on the volume of your package or its total weight. This quick guide illustrates the difference between the two and outlines how you can access volume-based pricing for your eCommerce business.

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Weight-Based Pricing

Let’s get the easy one out of the way first. Weight-based pricing is based on the total weight of a parcel. That figure includes the weight of the item(s) inside, the package itself, packing material, and any other elements included in the package. Pretty simple, right?

Volume-Based Pricing

Volume-based pricing, on the other hand, is based on the total area of a parcel in cubic feet. In layman’s terms, it’s based on the outer dimensions of the package. Some USPS mail services such as Priority Mail Cubic are priced based on a package’s outer dimensions. Priority Mail Cubic is the cheapest and fastest way to send small packages up to 20 pounds with USPS, since the price is based on volume only. Priority Mail Cubic is typically only available for commercial shippers. However, there is free USPS shipping software that allows consumers and small businesses to take advantage of those same discounts.

How Can I Access Volume-Based Pricing?

Using shipping services whose prices are based on package volume and not total weight may be a strategy for your business to save money on each shipment and maximize your margins. You’ll never find volume-based pricing at your local Post Office or at the UPS Store. Instead, the best way to access these types of services is to use online shipping software that allows you to ship at discounts with carriers such as USPS and UPS, on top of accessing specially-priced services like Priority Mail Cubic.

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