What is DIM (Dimensional Weight)?

You’ve seen the abbreviation DIM, and you’re wondering what it stands for. DIM is short for dimensional weight. A billing style, DIM is used by logistic providers to not only charge for the weight of a box but also its size (or dimensions).

For a long time, shipping costs were only calculated by gross weight, which created a problem for carriers. Everyone shipped light packages that tended to be inefficiently large for their contents. Carriers lost money because even though trucks, planes, and ships were full to the brim, the packages didn’t weigh very much.

So, the shipping industry shifted to DIM. Dimensional weight is a universal formula used the world over. Basically, it sets the minimum fee for the amount of space a package fills up in the shipping vehicle.

Let’s say you’re in the bean bag chair business. You make a low-density product that takes up lots of space. DIM is going to hurt you. With the adoption of the DIM standard, you’re better off maximizing the density-to-dimensions ratio of your packages. Think about it. If a large box of fluffy yarn uses up their ship’s or their truck’s storage capacity, why shouldn’t carriers incentivize companies to pack their goods more efficiently?

At ProPack, we help you avoid high DIM fees by:

  • Using just enough packing materials to keep products safe
  • Compressing products that can be
  • Using smaller boxes

Pretty much all the commercial carriers in the air freight and trucking industry employ the DIM standard. The big three—FedEx, DHL, and UPS—all use DIM to calculate the charges for their ground-shipping services.

DIM may be the way the logistics world works, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get great deals on shipping.

At ProPack, we employ ethical and efficient packing standards. We don’t gouge you by shipping your products in unnecessarily large boxes. And, we do so much shipping that we’ve been able to lock down bulk rates from FedEx, which means we get to pass our savings on to our clients.

We also provide links to our carrier’s DIM calculators for your convenience. Don’t get burned by DIM, go with a logistics company that has adopted the best practices you need to steer clear of staggering shipping rates.