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The Top 3 Ways to Avoid DIM Shipping Costs

July 8, 2019
Author: Caroline McManus

When it comes to avoiding dimensional (DIM) weight pricing the key is to work smarter, not harder! Dimensional weight pricing is used by the major carriers including the USPS® to limit the number of large, lightweight packages that take up a lot of delivery space. This pricing model can sneak up on businesses and cost them more money, especially if you ship large light items or leave a lot of extra space, aka void, in your packages. Get these three tips for avoiding dim weight pricing as well as ways to reduce dim weight costs if your business can’t avoid them entirely.  

Use Flat Rate Boxes

Use package services that are not subject to DIM weight: There are some USPS package services that are not subject to dimensional weight pricing such as Priority Mail® and Priority Mail Express® flat rate boxes and envelopes. These boxes are available at no cost online or at your local Post Office so be sure to pick up some sizes to keep your office stocked. These boxes charge one flat rate regardless of how heavy the item is (up to 70 lbs.). They are our customers' favorite way to save money and be confident in what you will pay to ship. 

Think Small!

Shrink your packages as much as possible so there is minimal void: With dimensional weight pricing the larger your package the more you end up paying so it is important to shrink package sizes whenever possible. If you are shipping with the USPS, you can even be exempt from dim weight pricing if you keep your packages under 1 cubic foot.

Businesses can encourage employees to use boxes that fit the item they are sending by providing boxes in multiple sizes at the office or multi-depth or "knock-down boxes" that can be adjusted to fit different sized items. Shrinking the size of your packages often also cuts down how much air or void you have to fill in your packages with packing peanuts or bubble wrap with can also be costly and add up.

Flat is Fun!

Flat envelopes or pouches are not subject to DIM weight pricing: If you are sending soft or flexible items, large flat envelopes or pouches are a great way to cut your costs and avoid dim weight pricing. These are not the best option for shipping breakable or delicate items but clothing, books, and other "bendable" and soft items are perfect for these cost-saving envelopes that can be found online or at your local shipping store.

Finally, if you are a business that cannot avoid dimensional weight pricing never fear there are a number of ways that you can mitigate the costs!

  1. Negotiate with your carriers: UPS® and FedEx® are willing to negotiate with individual businesses so if you are getting hit with dimensional weight charges ask your carrier about different ways to mitigate the costs such as changing the divisor or alternate service options.
  2. Compare your carriers: Each carrier has different dimensional weight rules, so be sure to price shop before your ship. This can easily be done with shipping software where you are able to compare the major carriers on one screen and pick the lowest costs or fastest shipping option. 
  3. Audit your invoices: Do you understand where you are being charged? If you are getting hit with higher shipping fees because of dimensional weight pricing or extra fees and surcharges it is important to know what items are causing you pain and how often, so that you can alter your shipping workflow and talk to your carrier about your specific problem.
  4. Qualify for Commercial Base Pricing: Commercial Base Pricing is discounted shipping rates that are offered by the USPS to businesses that use intelligent barcodes on their packages to ship. Barcodes can be added to your shipping labels with shipping software. This won’t get rid of dimensional rate pricing but it helps you save on shipping costs to offset dimensional weight pricing.


If you have more questions about dimensional weight pricing check out our postage rate hub. If you want to talk to a shipping specialist about how to adjust to these dim weight changes contact your Quadient representative or dial 877.888.0677

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