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Bright Ideas in DIM Weight: Three Ways to Right-Size Parcels

For many businesses, the phrase “good things come in small packages” has taken on a new meaning. That’s because today, even though a package might weigh very little, its dimensional weight, or DIM, can significantly impact shipping costs.

For many businesses, the phrase “good things come in small packages” has taken on a new meaning. That’s because today, even though a package might weigh very little, its dimensional weight, or DIM, can significantly impact shipping costs.        

Before 2015, FedEx and UPS used the weight of the package as the sole factor in determining ground shipping prices. As online ordering and home deliveries exploded, trucks began to fill up and meeting customer delivery expectations became more challenging. As a result, parcel carriers began encouraging customers to minimize package sizes so they could maximize the number of parcels on a truck.

Enter DIM Weight

The solution for parcel carriers was to begin charging customers for whichever was higher, the package’s actual weight or its DIM weight, or volumetric weight. The DIM weight is a calculation using length, width and height to determine a theoretical minimum weight for a package of that size. Since large, lightweight packages have a high DIM, any wasted space within the package is also wasted money.

For online retailers, reducing DIM weight by right-sizing packages is essential for controlling shipping costs, and it’s easier than you might think. Here are three ways to reduce DIM weight:

  1. Perform a right-size analysis. For shippers that utilize boxes and are serious about eliminating DIM weight, a visit from a packaging expert is in order. A team that is proficient in evaluating a facility’s packaging line can analyze parcels and determine if there’s wasted interior space. A data-driven analysis will reveal which box sizes are most likely to have excess void space. Review of shipping data allows retailers to optimize box sizes to fit their most commonly shipped items while providing the necessary protection to prevent damage, creating a  win win solution to the DIM weight challenge.

  2. Think outside the box. Ditching the box in favor of shipping mailers may be a more efficient solution. There is no large box, no wasted space in the package, and no need for void-fill products such as packing peanuts or air pillows. Non-cushioned mailers are ideal for items that are not fragile, and mailer boxes offer superior rigidity and protection without the cost and setup time of boxes. Poly bags and automated poly-bagging equipment can also greatly increase a shipper’s throughput while cutting down on billable weight.

  3. Customize packaging. For most shipments, off-the-shelf packaging is fine. But for high-DIM parcels, customized packaging can save money by reducing weight and eliminating wasted space. When combined with high-performance packaging or paper to fill small voids, custom boxes can also reduce the likelihood of damage in transit.
“For online retailers, reducing DIM weight by right-sizing packages is essential for controlling shipping costs, and it’s easier than you might think.”

 

Although you can try these common-sense, cost-saving ideas yourself, the right packaging partner can help you right size the right way – ensuring all your good things come in the smallest possible packages.

 

For a detailed look at Pregis’ full line of protective shipping materials, visit www.pregis.com/solutions.