Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why Am I Being Charged a 70 Pound Rate for My 1 Pound Box?

Dimensional weight is how the carriers bill for the size or volume of a package in a shipment, not just the package weight. The concept is simple. Think of shipping the proverbial 1 pound box of feathers. It's a big box, but there is little weight. And that's the problem - too much space taken up for too little revenue.

To address this, dimensional weight was born. Carriers now want the box size along with the box weight so they get the revenue for the space as well as the weight. How does this affect you as a shipper? It's pretty basic - if you don't account for the correct box size and weight, you can get some real surprises on your carrier billing.

Providing the dimensions is important so that you know how much it will cost to ship a package. Carriers also categorize different box sizes into different dimensional price groups, so it's sometimes more complicated than just a simple calculation.

Shipping software systems handle this situation so that you are not ambushed by extra charges after you ship. Typically, you enter the box measurements, and then the shipping system takes over. Some shipping systems, like Harvey Software's Computerized Parcel System (CPS™), let you keep a data file with your box sizes so you only have to choose the right box type instead of entering the box dimensions every time.

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