How Do Shipping Rates Get Calculated?

How Do Shipping Rates Get Calculated?

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Wait! What? My shipping is how much?

We get a lot of questions about shipping rates. Shipping companies haven't shipped packages based on gross weight for many years and that's where the confusion starts. The method for calculating a package's weight is determined by using its theoretical weight or its actual weight and using the greater of the two for shipping costs.

We make it easier with Flat Rate Shipping. See details

Traditionally shipping costs were calculated based on gross weight. That method was unprofitable for the freight industry on lightweight, low-density packages due to the amount of space they take up in the truck or other shipping vehicles, compared to their actual weight. The concept of dimensional weight was adopted globally by the transportation industry as a common way of establishing a minimum charge for the cubic space of a package. Since 2015, Both UPS and FedEx calculate shipping charges for all shipments based on the actual weight or dimensional weight of a package and use whichever is greater. Dimensional weight, also known as DIM weight, volumetric weight or theoretical weight, is a pricing technique that commercial freight transporters, couriers and the United States Postal Service use to estimate a package's weight calculated from the length, width, and height of a package.

Dimensional Weight Calculation Example

Take the hypothetical example of a lightweight, low-density box of merchandise shipped domestically weighing 3 pounds and measuring 10 x 10 x 10 inches. It would be charged as if it weighed 6 pounds. The example is calculated as follows: (10 x 10 x 10)/194 = 5.2 pounds which is rounded to 6 pounds for the purpose of shipping costs. The 5.2 pounds is a "theoretical" weight of the package. 194 is a DIM factor. The DIM Factor (Dimensional Weight Factor) represents the volume of a package allowed per unit of weight. DIM Factors are different for inches/pounds vs. centimeters/kilograms.

Fortunately, for CTW Home Collection customers, we have a Flat Rate Shipping program in place that takes the guesswork out of shipping costs if you order over $300 worth of product. More information about our shipping policies can be viewed on our shipping page. See details

Note: the values in the example above are only for illustrative purposes. Freight carriers, couriers and the USPS update their dimensional weights regularly to account for changes in fuel costs and a variety of other variables. Additional costs to consider, that carriers include, are the destination of the package based on its origination.

— CTW Home Collection

CTW Home Collection is a unique designer, importer, and distributor of retro, BOHO, farmhouse and vintage-inspired wares for the home. One of our goals is to offer great wholesale home decor and gift items at competitive prices and to help our retail partners succeed in their retail businesses.