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Oct 22, 2019

It's Just a Couple Inches ...

…but what a difference! 

Here’s a quick recap on DIM weight for those who are new: 

FedEx measures a box in two ways, by its actual weight and by its dimensions (L x W x H). The size of the box is called its Dimensional Weight or DIM Weight. Whichever of those two numbers (weight or DIM Weight) is higher will determine the base shipping rate for that box. With most reptile shipments, the DIM Weight will be the determining factor. 

This week’s Newsletter is to demonstrate a very practical example of how impactful the DIM Weight can be for a given shipment. We’ll look at two popular box sizes sold on our website: 8x8x7 and 10x10x10. One box is a perfect cube and the other an almost perfect cube. Visually, the sizes of the two boxes look very similar. 

If you’re looking at boxes and you’re pretty sure the 8x8x7 will be enough, you might be tempted to go up one more size to 10x10x10, because a little bit bigger can’t hurt, can it? 

Let’s find out. 

Shipping from the east coast to the west coast—from 22315 near Washington, DC to the classic California zip, 90210—and using our standard, public discount rate with the SYR Quick Quote feature. 

The 8x8x7 box will cost $78.86.

The 10x10x10 box will cost $101.55.

That’s a $22.69 difference for just a couple of inches! 

Why such a big difference? 

The formula to determine a box’s DIM Weight is length times width times height, then divide that total by the number 139. This formula is written as (L x W x H) / 139. 139 is called the Dim Factor and is chosen by FedEx. (By the way, UPS uses the exact same formula.) 

So, the Dim Weight of the 8x8x7 box comes out to 3.22, which is rounded up (always) to 4 pounds. You could ship that box with nothing but a single feather inside and it would “weigh in” at 4 pounds. However, if you shipped a 6-pound brick of metal, the box would weigh in at 6 pounds. 

The Dim Weight on the 10x10x10 box comes out to 7.19, which rounds up to 8 pounds. That’s double the smaller box, even though they are visually close in size. 

Never stuff a larger animal into a box that’s too small, just to save money on shipping, however, if a smaller box is a viable option for safe shipping, it’s always the economically smart choice to make. 

Here’s a break-down of the DIM Weights (in pounds) on all the box sizes we offer: 

6x6x6 – 2 

7x7x6 – 3 

8x8x7 – 4 

10x10x10 – 8

11x11x6 – 6 

12x9x6 – 5 

15x11x7 – 9 

16x16x8 – 15 

30x16x10 – 35

You’ll find it much easier to find the most economical methods for shipping if you understand these numbers. And don’t forget that you can always reach out to us to discuss personalized, custom rates to meet the needs of your unique business.

Happy Shipping!