How to Calculate Dimensional (DIM) Weight on your packages

Jul 19, 2020


Shipping packages can sometimes be a complex and costly process, especially when it comes to calculating the dimensional weight (DIM weight) of your shipments. DIM weight is a pricing technique used by shipping carriers to account for packages that may be lightweight but occupy a significant amount of space. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about calculating DIM weight on your packages, helping you to streamline your shipping operations and avoid unforeseen charges.

Understanding Dimensional (DIM) Weight

Before we dive into the methods of calculating DIM weight, it's essential to understand what it is and why it matters. DIM weight is a way for shipping carriers to determine the amount of space a package occupies in relation to its weight. Carriers often charge based on whichever is higher between the actual weight and the DIM weight.

For example, consider a large but lightweight item like a pillow. Although it may weigh only a few pounds, it takes up significantly more space in a shipping container. Therefore, the DIM weight calculation ensures that the shipping cost accurately reflects the space the package occupies rather than just its actual weight.

Calculating Dimensional (DIM) Weight: Step-by-step Guide

Step 1: Measure Your Package

The first step in calculating DIM weight is to accurately measure your package. Use a tape measure or ruler to measure the package's length, width, and height. Make sure to measure the longest points on each side and round up to the nearest inch.

Step 2: Convert Measurements to Cubic Inches

Once you have the measurements, multiply the length, width, and height to obtain the package's cubic inches. For instance, if your package measures 10 inches in length, 8 inches in width, and 6 inches in height, the cubic inch calculation would be as follows:

10 inches (length) x 8 inches (width) x 6 inches (height) = 480 cubic inches

Step 3: Calculate DIM Weight

Next, divide the cubic inch measurement by the DIM factor accepted by your shipping carrier. Shipping carriers have specific DIM factors that vary depending on the service and destination. For example, if the DIM factor is 166 for your chosen carrier, the calculation would be:

480 cubic inches (package volume) รท 166 (DIM factor) = 2.89 pounds

In this case, if the actual weight is less than or equal to 2.89 pounds, you would be charged based on the DIM weight for shipping.

Tips for Efficient Packaging

Minimize Empty Space

When packaging your items, it's essential to reduce any unnecessary empty space within the package as much as possible. This will help you optimize the package's dimensions and avoid extra charges due to excessively large packaging.

Use Suitable Packaging Materials

Using appropriate packaging materials, such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts, can help protect your items while minimizing the overall package size. Choosing the right packaging materials is crucial when it comes to ensuring both the safety of your goods and efficient use of space.

Consider Package Shape

Package shape also plays a role in DIM weight calculations. Irregularly shaped items may require additional measures to accurately calculate the DIM weight. Take the time to account for any protrusions or uneven edges that may affect the package's overall dimensions.


Calculating dimensional (DIM) weight is a vital step in accurately determining shipping costs and avoiding unnecessary charges. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this comprehensive resource, you can ensure that your packaging is optimized for efficient shipping and minimize the impact on your budget. Implement these tips and techniques to streamline your shipping operations and make informed decisions when it comes to DIM weight calculations. With proper packaging and an understanding of DIM weight, you can save both time and money on your shipping endeavors.

Great information on DIM weight!
Nov 12, 2023