How Do I Avoid Dimensional Weight Charges?

The main way to avoid unwanted dimensional weight fees is to keep your outer packaging as small as possible
avoid dimensional weight charges

Have you ever shipped a large package and received a huge charge on top of your postage after you sent it? If you answered “yes,” chances are your carrier charged you dimensional weight fees! Almost every shipper has gone through this at one point or another. So, we thought we’d offer some insight on how to best avoid dimensional weight charges (hint: there’s really only one way to do it).

What is Dimensional Weight?

First thing’s first: let’s define dimensional weight, or “DIM” for short. Despite the name, DIM actually has nothing to do with the weight of your package! Instead, it refers to the amount of physical space your package takes up. The bigger the box, the bigger the dimensional weight.

Carriers charge dimensional weight fees because large packages limit their ability to make money on additional deliveries. The more space your package takes on their truck, the less opportunity they have to fill it with additional packages. As a result, they take on less packages than they potentially could…which mans they generate less revenue. They have to make up that money somehow, and charging dimensional weight fees is the way they do it.

How to Avoid Dimensional Weight Charges

Avoiding dimensional weight charges all comes down to one golden rule: keep your package size as small as possible. Not only will keeping your packages small help you potentially circumvent costly DIM charges, but it will reduce your overall cost of shipping. If you can get your packaging small enough, you might even qualify for specially-discounted services based on your package’s dimensions, like USPS Priority Mail Cubic!

Learn more about how optimizing your package dimensions can make or break your small business.

Some DIM Charges Can’t Be Avoided

While keeping your packaging as small as possible will help you steer clear of some unwanted DIM charges, there are some instances when you won’t be able to prevent them. Depending on what you’re shipping, getting hit with the occasional DIM charge is kind of like getting older: it’s inevitable. This is most often the case for shippers who send large but lightweight items which require oversized packaging…like wreaths, pillows, or irregular-shaped items (a package containing a guitar an example of that).

If you’re shipping any of these kinds of items, the best way to keep costs down is to try and save money on the cost of postage, since you’ll likely need to pay dimensional weight charges, anyway. You can learn more about how to save money on the cost of shipping here.


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