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Why You Should Use a Dimensional Weight Scanner

by Andrew Fanner,
Aug 9, 2023
man diligently scanning packages, showcasing the integration of logistics software for efficient logistics management and tracking
man diligently scanning packages, showcasing the integration of logistics software for efficient logistics management and tracking

Table of Contents:

Are you struggling with unexpected shipping costs and inefficiencies in your logistics process? Understanding and managing dimensional weight could be the key to unlocking significant savings and streamlining your operations. And now with the domination of e-commerce and increasingly complex shipping requirements, dimensional weight has become a significant factor in determining the costs of shipping. 

Dimensional weight, also called DIM weight or volumetric weight, ensures carriers are compensated for the space a package occupies in addition to its actual weight. TransVirtual, a leading transportation management software company, integrates with dimensional weight scanners, enabling businesses to measure package sizes more accurately. Today, let’s explore why using a dimensional weight scanner may just be essential for your business.

Understanding Dimensional Weight

Dimensional weight is a pricing method used by commercial freight companies and postal services. It calculates shipping costs according to the cubic size of a package, focusing on package density rather than just the actual weight. This ensures that carriers don’t carry losses by shipping lightweight packages that take up more space.

Calculation Method

Dimensional weight is calculated using the package’s length, width, and height, divided by a specific DIM factor. This factor varies depending on the carrier and whether the shipment is domestic or international. Understanding how to calculate dimensional weight is vital for accurate billing and cost optimization.

Difference Between Actual Weight and DIM Weight

Actual weight refers to the physical weight of a package, while dimensional weight considers its cubic size. The difference can significantly impact shipping costs. For example, a heavy and compact item like dumbbells may have a lower dimensional weight, while a large and lightweight item like artwork may be priced using DIM weight. Misjudging the applicable weight can lead to unnecessary fees, which makes it crucial for businesses to understand the interplay between actual and dimensional weight.

DIM Factor Variations

The DIM factor is vital in calculating dimensional weight, representing the total volume of a package allowed per unit of weight. It varies depending on factors such as the shipping carrier, type of shipment, and units of measurement. For instance, some larger couriers may use different DIM factors for domestic and international shipments. Understanding the specific DIM factor used by the courier company enables shippers to package wisely, predict chargeable weight, and avoid unexpected charges.

The Impact of Dimensional Weight on Shipping Costs

Dimensional weight pricing affects the overall cost to ship a package. It kicks in when the actual weight of the package is less than its DIM weight. This pricing technique encourages businesses to use correct-sized packaging that can reduce unnecessary shipping fees.

Integration with TransVirtual

TransVirtual’s integration with dimensional weight scanners allows businesses to measure the size of packages more correctly. In fact, many of our customers report making more money per package, as they can accurately determine the shipping costs based on both weight and volume.

The technology at play here performs a pivotal role in optimizing shipping costs through dimensional weight calculations. Automated conveyor dimensioning systems and other advanced tools provide quick and accurate measurements of dimensional weight. These technologies can even detect irregularities like bulging flaps that might affect the chargeable weight. By leveraging such technology, shippers can make more precise calculations, leading to cost savings and more efficient use of space within delivery vehicles.

man using logistics software on computer, demonstrating the integral role of technology in modern logistics management

How to Manage Dimensional Weight Effectively

Automated conveyor dimensioning systems and other technologies provide quick and accurate measurements of dimensional weight. Understanding these systems and packaging wisely can help shippers predict the effect of deformed boxes and avoid additional charges.

The Role of Third-Party Logistics Providers

Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) play a vital role in managing dimensional weight effectively. With expertise in shipping and logistics, they can help businesses navigate the complexities of dimensional weight calculations, negotiate affordable carrier rates, and keep track of changes in DIM weight rules. By partnering with 3PL, businesses can ensure that they are using the most cost-effective shipping methods and staying compliant with the latest industry standards, thereby avoiding unnecessary expenses and maximizing profits.

The Future of Dimensional Weight

With the rapid expansion of e-commerce and the growing availability of free shipping, carriers are under increased pressure to maximize space within delivery trucks. The use of DIM weight is becoming more common, even among smaller carriers, impacting the cost of shipping and requiring shippers to re-strategize their packaging.

Modern Tools and Solutions

Tools that allow shippers to predetermine shipping costs by dimensioning and weighing packages before shipment are becoming essential. By using the specific DIM Factor provided by the courier company, businesses can determine the most economical shipping route, saving money and enhancing efficiency.

Impact on Smaller Carriers

Routine use of dimensional weight isn’t limited to major carriers alone. It’s also become a factor for smaller-sized carriers around the world. Shipping volumes continue to increase in unprecedented ways, and smaller carriers need to find novel ways to maximize space in their shipping vehicles. By adopting dimensional weight calculations, they can stay competitive and optimize their operations. This trend underscores the universal importance of dimensional weight across the shipping industry, regardless of the size of the carrier.

Future Technologies and Innovations

The future of dimensional weight lies in embracing new technologies and innovations. From automated dimensioning systems to advanced software solutions that quickly find the most economical shipping route, technology is shaping the way dimensional weight is calculated and applied. If your business takes advantage of these changes, you’ll see enhances accuracy and a streamlined shipping process that saves you both time and money.

From small carriers to large enterprises, the integration of dimensional weight scanners is transforming the way businesses operate, leading to cost savings and efficiency. TransVirtual, with our cutting-edge technology and seamless integration with dimensional weight machines, stands at the forefront of this revolution. Don’t let your business fall behind in this competitive market. Embrace the future of shipping with TransVirtual today, and take the first step towards optimizing your shipping processes and maximizing your profits. Contact us now to learn how we can tailor our solutions to your unique needs.