Dimensional Weighing - Advance Scale

Dimensional Weighing


Take Control of Your Shipping With Dimensional Weight

Welcome to Rice Lake’s online resource for calculating dimensional weight, how dimensioning systems work, and which system is right for you. If you’re looking for specs on Rice Lake’s iDimension® Series, the below buttons will take you to the specific product pages.


What is Dimensional Weight?

Dimensional weighing is the shift in the shipping industry by determining shipping prices based on a package’s volume as well as weight, and charge for whichever is greater.

Why has dimensional weighing become such a key focus? A carrier’s truck is often filled due to space restrictions much sooner than it reaches its weight capacity, such as over-using packing materials, which creates empty space in boxes.

  • Dimensional weighing is not focused on increasing prices for shippers
  • By shipping smarter, you can adapt to dimensional weighing easier
  • Remember, with dimensional weighing, it is all about volume

Learn more about dimensional weight by reading our article What Is Dimensional Weight?


How do I calculate dimensional weight?

  1. Measure the length, width and height of the item you are shipping. If you are shipping poly bags, tubes or shrink-wrapped items, you need to find the item’s cubed dimensions. Learn how a dimensioning system can help determine an irregular shape’s cubed dimensions in our article How to Calculate Dimensional Weight.
  2. Use the dimensional weight formula. L x W x H inch/ 139 (U.S. domestic shipments) = dim weight in pounds
  3. Next, weigh your item on a calibrated scale and determine if the item’s dimensional weight or actual weight is greater.
  4. The shipping carrier will charge you based on the greater of the two, so use the greater number to compare your available shipping rates.

How do dimensioning systems work?

Most dimensioning systems use safe laser sensing technology to determine the cubed dimensions of items. Although each manufacturer has specific selling points, each dimensioning system should provide accurate, cubic dimensions. The following are questions you should ask about each dimensioning system you review prior to purchase.

  • Does the system measure dimensions in less than a second?
  • Will I need to account for special placement, or does the system utilize zone placement?
  • Does the system integrate with third-party software, like UPS® WorldShip®?
  • Can I integrate the system in my current shipping setup?
  • Will support and service be provided in the future?

See how the iDimension Series works by viewing iDimension demonstration videos about iDimension’s assembly, configuration with flat bases or roller top scales, and how to dimension parcels.

Questions to ask your freight/postal carrier

If you’re ever unsure about dimensional weight or if you are meeting shipping guidelines, ask the person who knows best when it comes to your outbound freight—your carrier!

  • What are the dim weight guidelines for your carrier service?
  • How do I document dimensional weight measurements?
  • What steps are needed to dispute an inaccurate back charge?
  • How do I integrate a dimensioning system with rate shopping software?
  • How can I ship parcels and freight smarter?

Learn how to improve shipping processes by reading our article Top 10 Ways to Improve Dim Weight Shipping Processes.

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