Meet the People Who Help You Ship Smarter: Taresa

January 20, 2023 at 4:45 PMLeah Palnik

If you’ve ever wondered who keeps the wheels in motion at PartnerShip, look no further than Taresa Gannon. As a Senior Key Account Specialist, she prioritizes caring for our customers above all else. She may quote, schedule, and track shipments, but her role is so much more than that. It’s her reliable communication and problem solving skills that make her invaluable to the shippers who work with her.

Meet Taresa

Something you should know about Taresa
She loves dogs! Taresa and her husband James have a full house with 5 of their own. She even hopes to open a dog rescue shelter someday.

Expert advice
Taresa’s favorite part of her job is all of the challenges. And she’s an expert at navigating them. We asked her to share some things she’s learned along the way.

  • What industry trends are you seeing that you think shippers should be aware of?
    Production delays, staff shortage/labor issues, and lack of warehouse space/scheduling availability.
  • If you could give customers one piece of advice for smart shipping, what would it be?
    Keep an eye on demand, plan ahead, and entertain flexible options such as drop trailer service.

Taresa

How to apply these tips to your freight
It’s clear - planning is essential if you want everything to go smoothly with your freight. Wondering where to start? A quality freight broker can help. If you’re curious how, we have a couple of great resources:

Taresa also brings up a good point about entertaining flexible options. There are several ways you can do that, and if you need some ideas, we have you covered:

If you’re ready to discuss your options with a freight expert like Taresa, contact us today

Your Essential Guide to the 2023 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases

December 6, 2022 at 11:35 AMLeah Palnik
The essential guide to the 2023 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases

FedEx and UPS will be increasing their rates by an average of 6.9% in 2023. That’s a heavy statement for a couple of reasons. First, this is the highest General Rate Increase (GRI) the carriers have taken in recent years. And second, your actual shipping costs will likely go up more than 6.9% in the new year. Oof. Unpacking the new changes is complicated, but essential if you want to understand how your costs will be affected and what you can do about it.

Here's your guide to the FedEx and UPS rate increases for 2023. Jump to:

A look back at the FedEx and UPS GRIs 

FedEx and UPS have a long history of mirroring each other’s pricing. They typically announce the same GRI and appear to have very similar pricing strategies. Bottom line, published rates aren’t a major differentiator between the two carriers.

For 2023, both FedEx and UPS are pointing fingers at inflation as a contributing factor to the higher-than-usual rate increase. 2022 already saw an uptick with a 5.9% GRI, thanks to all of the supply chain disruptions and surges in demand that resulted from the pandemic. For several years prior to that, both carriers had been raising their rates annually by an average of 4.9%.

Some important quick facts about the new FedEx and UPS rates:

  • The new FedEx rates take effect on January 3, 2023, while the UPS rates take effect a week earlier on December 27, 2022.
  • The 6.9% average doesn’t take surcharges into account - many of which are increasing by more than 6.9%.
  • How much your costs actually go up in 2023 will depend on several different factors. The services you use, your shipment dimensions and weight, and how far your shipments are traveling all have an effect.

Important changes

So you already understand that FedEx and UPS rates are going up in the new year. What does that look like exactly? First, you'll want to review the released service guide previews: 

If all of those tables and numbers are making your head spin, you're not alone. But there are some key takeaways. Let’s take a look at a few of the general observations from the base rate changes:

  • Across all services and weight breaks, longer zones are getting hit with higher increases than shorter zones. Many of those increases are higher than the announced average. 
  • For Ground services, many of the rates for shorter zones are lower than the 6.9% average increase.
  • For each service, the rate increases are similar across most weight breaks. Zones are the biggest difference-makers this year. 
  • For the 3 Day services, you'll see a higher increase from FedEx than UPS. However, the actual rates are comparable. That is because UPS took a larger increase with this service the previous year. 
  • Both FedEx and UPS have increased their Ground Minimum charge to $10.10

When you are reviewing your shipping costs, you can’t look at the base rates alone. Surcharge fees often make up a significant chunk of the amount you end up paying. Here are a few noteworthy surcharge updates:

  • Fees for larger, more difficult to move packages continue to rise to hefty prices. You could be paying an extra $1,150 for a shipment that qualifies for the Unauthorized Packages fee by FedEx or the Over Maximum Limits fee by UPS.Common FedEx and UPS Surcharges
  • Both carriers are increasing the late payment fee from 6% to 8%.
  • FedEx created a Remote Delivery Surcharge. Almost 4,000 zips will now incur a $13.25 fee. UPS originally introduced a fee for this in January 2022.
  • Many common surcharges are increasing, with a significant amount increasing by more than 6.9%.Common FedEx and UPS Surcharges

There are also a couple of other changes that are important to be aware of:

  • UPS announced that it will be renaming “peak surcharges” to “demand surcharges”. Several years ago FedEx and UPS started implementing these fees to address the increased demand the holiday season brings. Then, the pandemic hit. Both carriers have struggled to meet the surge in demand amid all of the supply chain disruptions and decided to use peak surcharges in response. The decision by UPS to rebrand these surcharges signals that it is viewing them slightly differently. Instead of implementing fees based on seasonal predictability, “demand surcharges” suggests usage anytime there is an uptick in demand. In short, they’re likely here to stay.
  • The list of zip codes for zones is changing. Depending on where you’re shipping, you may have to pay based on a longer zone than before. It’s changes like these that make budgeting for your annual cost increase very challenging.

How the FedEx and UPS rate changes will affect your costs in 2023

You can’t take the announcement of a 6.9% increase at face value, unfortunately. You’ll need to determine what services you use the most, how far your shipments travel on average, and how much of your invoice charges can be attributed to fees.

Many shippers will see their costs go up over the announced 6.9% average. With that in mind, let’s look a few factors that could put you at risk for higher-than-average cost increases:

  • If you’re shipping larger packages or your packages require special handling. For the past several years, FedEx and UPS have been raising these fees at an alarming rate. Any shipment they can’t run through their normal systems costs them more time and money, and these fees are a way to discourage those types of shipments from entering their networks.
  • If you ship a higher percentage of residential shipments. Residential shipments cost the carriers more because they require more stops and are a less efficient use of their driver’s time. Residential fees continue to climb because of this.
  • If you ship a lot of low density packages. The pricing structure that FedEx and UPS have put in place punishes lighter shipments that take up a lot of space. The carriers prefer denser packages that take up less space because they’re able to fit more packages on their delivery vehicles.
  • If a high percentage of your shipments go to longer zones. It’s always been true that the further your package travels, the more expensive the rate. This year that’s especially true. Longer zones are seeing more increases above the announced average than shorter zones.

What you can do to mitigate the effects of the FedEx and UPS rate increases

  • Right-size your packaging. While FedEx and UPS rates are based on weight, that’s not actually the whole story. If your dimensional weight is higher than the actual weight, your package will be rated using the dimensional weight - meaning you’ll be paying more. This makes any excess space within your package extra costly. Focus on packaging that allows space for the items you’re shipping and the necessary cushioning and nothing more.
  • DIM Weight Calculation
  • Consider opening or using a new distribution center. Shipments with the longest distance to travel cost you the most every year. But in 2023, this will be even more important as the longest zones are seeing the highest increases. Getting closer to your customers could be a great strategy for keeping those costs down.
  • Take advantage of discounts available to you. Many trade associations and chambers of commerce will offer FedEx or UPS discounts to their members. Oftentimes the annual cost savings from those discounts more than make up for the cost of joining. PartnerShip works with over 130 groups to provide their members with discounts on FedEx services. Contact our team to find out if you qualify.

Wrapping your head around all of the changes for 2023 FedEx and UPS rates can be challenging. But, using this guide to understand what's behind the announced average and published service guides is a good first step. Use this information to properly budget for the new year and set up any mitigation tactics that work best for your business.   

FedEx and UPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines for 2022

October 21, 2022 at 9:10 AMLeah Palnik
2021 Holiday Shipping Deadlines for FedEx and UPS

As you prepare your store for the influx of orders that come with the holiday season, you’re going to want to keep an eye on the shipping deadlines. Both FedEx and UPS have announced the last dates you can ship your orders and make it in time for a Christmas delivery.

It’s important to note these deadlines because demand surges this time of year. The carriers' networks are already strained, and it’s only going to get worse the closer we get to the holidays. To keep your customers happy and set the right expectations, we recommend clearly communicating the shipping cutoff dates and adding in extra days in case of delays.

FedEx has published a complete visual list of the last days to ship. Here are some highlights for domestic shipments:

  • December 8 for FedEx Ground Economy
  • December 14 for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery
  • December 20 for FedEx Express Saver
  • December 21 for FedEx 2Day and 2Day AM
  • December 22 for FO, PO, SO, and Extra Hours
  • December 23 for FedEx Same Day

UPS has also created a list of the last days to ship for Christmas delivery. Unfortunately, one thing that is missing is a specific cutoff date for Ground shipments. You will need to get a quote on the UPS website instead. For domestic UPS air shipments, the dates are as follows:

  • December 20 for UPS 3 Day Select
  • December 21 for UPS 2nd Day Air
  • December 22 for UPS Next Day Air services

It’s also important to note that service guarantees are currently suspended for both FedEx and UPS ground services. It's also suspended for select air/express services. The main takeaway? You’ll want to encourage your customers to order early and do what you can to add in extra days when setting delivery expectations.

If you're looking for any additional guidance or need a way to lower your small package costs, PartnerShip can help. Contact our team today.

Meet the People Who Help You Ship Smarter: Dillon

October 5, 2022 at 9:23 AMLeah Palnik

Above all else, at PartnerShip we value the relationships with our customers and partners. Keeping them happy and ensuring their freight is managed properly is the backbone of what we do. Our Association Program Manager, Dillon, is a prime example of that. He is the main point of contact for our college bookstore associations and is the go-to resource for many of our customers - a role that is as unique as he is.

Meet Dillon

About Dillon
If you get the chance to speak with Dillon, be sure to congratulate him - he recently got engaged to his longtime girlfriend! They have lived together in their beachfront apartment in California for 6 years and enjoy everything the oceanside life offers. When he’s not working, you can find him enjoying a nice meal with his fiancé, playing beach volleyball, or biking down the beach path.

Expert advice
Dillon has earned his chops as a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) and sits on the board for the California Association of College Stores (CACS). Between that and his 7 years of experience at PartnerShip, he’s in a solid position to help our customers ship smarter. We asked him to share some advice.

  • What industry trends are you seeing that you think shippers should be aware of?
    The most obvious industry trend that I can identify is transit times being affected by the demand on the system. You can easily avoid this issue by taking extra time to communicate with your broker, specifically on how early you should order your product and what your realistic expectation for delivery should be.

  • If you could give customers one piece of advice for smart shipping, what would it be?
    My major piece of advice for customers is to communicate with your logistics broker. Many problems can be avoided or instantly fixed when a customer and their broker communicate to understand any shipping issues that may arise.

Dillon

Taking it a step further
Communication is key in Dillon’s eyes and for good reason. A quality freight broker can be your advocate when issues arise with carriers, you’re dealing with deadlines, or have unique needs. But that open dialogue is essential for your broker to do their job right. Curious about the benefits of working with a broker? We’ve got you covered:

Dillon also hits the nail on the head when it comes to challenges with transit times. If you want to understand what’s happening in the freight industry and how to tackle the resulting issues, there are a couple resources you might find useful:

Without question, having someone like Dillon on your side to manage your freight is essential these days. If you’re interested in finding out more how our team can help, contact us today

Meet the People Who Help You Ship Smarter: Amanda

August 30, 2022 at 9:35 AMLeah Palnik

If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the people who help keep your freight moving, you’re in the right place. It takes creative problem solving and years of experience to expertly navigate the world of shipping. At PartnerShip, we’re proud of our team members who use their expertise to help our customers ship smarter. One person who fits that bill is Amanda Bixler.

Meet Amanda

Get to know Amanda
As the Customer Service Manager, Amanda helps her team and our customers ship smarter by staying current with issues in the industry and sharing what she learns. Assisting her team with handling difficult customer situations, creating shipment quotes, scheduling shipments, and running shipping analyses are all in a day’s work for her.

Outside of work
You can’t keep Amanda away from the water. When she’s not kayaking, you can find her walking the beaches to collect Lake Erie beach glass for making jewelry. She also loves spending time with her family. She’s happily married to her husband of 10 years, Trevor. She also has two daughters - Autumn and Alexis, and two Grandbabies - Lillyana and Xavier.

Some shipping wisdom
Amanda has been with PartnerShip for 7 years, and her team is often the first call when a shipping issue arises. As a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) she is well versed in what to look out for and how to keep your shipments running smoothly. We asked her for her thoughts on a couple of key questions.

  • What industry trends are you seeing that you think shippers should be aware of?
    The demand for shipping continues to increase daily. There is more freight than there are drivers to move it. The freight is often being put on the rail resulting in longer transit times. I proactively inform my customers of these potential issues so there aren't any surprises.

  • If you could give customers one piece of advice for smart shipping, what would it be?
    I often tell our customers to package their freight in a manner in which it can be identified easily in the event it is lost/damaged.

The demand for shipping continues to increase daily. There is more freight than there are drivers to move it.

How to apply these tips to your freight
Amanda’s insights touch on one of the most pressing issues in LTL freight shipping today - longer, more unpredictable transit times. This has become an unfortunate reality of the business. While much of that is out of your control, the best thing you can do is plan ahead and work with a quality broker so you have an advocate in your corner. If transit times have been a pain point for you recently, we have some resources you may be interested in:

Another reality of the business that Amanda mentions is dealing with missing and damaged freight. If a carrier loses or damages your freight while in transit, it can feel like so much is out of your control. However, you can take some precautionary measures and educate yourself ahead of time on the actions to take if you need to file a claim. To get you started, check out these resources:

The benefits of working with a knowledgeable team are undeniable. If you could use a freight expert on your side, contact us today.

Meet the People Who Help You Ship Smarter: Dante

July 22, 2022 at 8:53 AMLeah Palnik

You might be familiar with PartnerShip and how our organization helps customers ship smarter. But we’re more than a freight brokerage business. The people behind PartnerShip and our collective expertise are truly what make the difference. First up, we’d like to introduce you to Dante Donofrio.

Meet Dante

How you might know Dante
As one of our Senior Account Representatives, Dante helps our customers move their freight. He works hard to collect all the important info about your shipment so he can match it with the best carrier for the job, at the most competitive price. Understanding all your specific needs - from required equipment to receiving hours - he leaves no detail unchecked to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Some shipping wisdom
Dante has been with PartnerShip for over 4 years and has witnessed first-hand what shippers are dealing with in these times of disrupted supply chains and unprecedented freight demand. We asked him a couple questions to share what he’s learned.

  • What industry trends are you seeing that you think shippers should be aware of?
    In the less-than-truckload (LTL) market, if you've shipped recently then you know that transit times are not what they were. Carriers are more often than not, NOT able to make their estimated arrival times and, unfortunately, there's not discounts for late shipments. Also, carriers are taking every opportunity to re-weigh, re-measure and even re-class your freight so it just comes back to accuracy and making sure you have the right classification, weight and dimensions. Our team does a great job of helping with freight class so that surprise rate increases from reclassification can be avoided.

  • If you could give customers one piece of advice for smart shipping, what would it be?
    Try to tell us more than we want to know about your freight. Small details can be important so don't be afraid of giving too much information. I love thorough customers who give us lots of information. That said, if you don't do that, be prepared for me to come at you with lots of questions but it's all in the name of getting your freight there and controlling cost!

Meet Dante

Something you may not know about Dante
Dante played guitar in a high school garage rock band but quit when he was working and attending night school. After a bit of a hiatus, he took it up again about 5 years ago and now even has a collection of guitars hanging up on his office wall. When asked if his life was made into a movie what the title would be, Dante says it would be “Shipper Guitar Hero”.

Your freight
With all the current challenges in the shipping industry, working with an expert like Dante is imperative. Reach out to our team to start controlling your freight costs and ship smarter. In the meantime, check out these resources that help you determine what details are important when you're preparing your shipment, like Dante advises:


Record High Diesel Prices Will Affect Your Freight Costs

March 9, 2022 at 11:26 AMLeah Palnik
Truck driving on highway

It’s been hard to miss the high gas prices at the pump and the headlines about the rising cost of crude oil. Not only does this affect the average American driver, but this also has a large impact on the drivers moving our freight. In fact, the national average for on-highway diesel fuel has shot up to the highest it’s ever been since the U.S. Energy Information Administration started tracking the prices in 1994.

The cost of doing business just got a lot more expensive for trucking companies, and that will be reflected in your freight rates. We’re currently seeing fuel surcharges as high as 42% with some of our carriers. While it’s a hard pill to swallow, this is something to keep in mind and budget for.

As for how long you can expect fuel surcharges to be high, that’s hard to say. Many experts note that even when oil prices start to go back down, gas and diesel prices aren’t likely to fall as quickly as they’ve risen.

To learn more about the record high diesel prices, check out this article on Overdrive.

If you're curious about how oil prices drive the cost of gasoline and diesel, check out this segment from Marketplace.

It’s more important than ever to work with a freight broker. Our team is available to help you find the best rate for your freight and help you navigate through logistics challenges. Contact us to consult with one of our shipping experts.

2021 Year-End Planning for Your FedEx and UPS Shipments

November 15, 2021 at 9:43 AMLeah Palnik
2021 Year-End Planning for Your FedEx and UPS Shipments

The end of the year is usually pretty hectic for a lot of businesses, but 2021 is proving to be one for the books. As you navigate the holiday season and prepare for the year ahead, you’ll want to heed our warnings for your FedEx and UPS parcel shipments.

Ship early
We can’t stress this enough. Delays are becoming more common and will likely get worse the closer we get to Christmas. The FedEx and UPS networks are very strained right now. Fueled by the pandemic and all of its ripple effects, demand for parcel services is at an all-time high. Both FedEx and UPS have suspended service guarantees for their ground services and some of their air/express services, which means you can’t leave things up to chance. Ship early and build in plenty of extra time where you can so you don’t run into major disruptions.

Review holiday shipping deadlines
For retailers, this is especially important. As customers place their orders for holiday gifts, they’ll want to know that they’ll receive them before the big day. FedEx and UPS have released their shipping deadlines, so make sure to review them and plan accordingly. That way you’ll be able to manage expectations appropriately and keep your customers happy.

Prepare for the 2022 rate increases
Don’t sleep on the fact that after you make it through the holiday season, your FedEx and UPS rates will be going up. Both carriers announced that they will be increasing their rates by an average of 5.9%. It’s tempting to take that announced average and budget for your costs to go up by that much, but unfortunately it’s not that simple.

How much your rates will go up in the new year will largely depend on which services you use, your package characteristics, and where you’re shipping to/from. That 5.9% average also doesn’t account for surcharges which can drive up your costs even more. If this all sounds like a major analysis that you don’t have the time to conduct, you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve reviewed the updated rate charts for you. Download our free guide to see a full analysis of what you can expect.

The Essential Guide to the 2022 FedEx and UPS Rate Increases.

The Current State of Freight: What You Can Expect

August 31, 2021 at 10:05 AMLeah Palnik

To say the freight market is strained right now might be an understatement. If you’ve experienced significantly higher rates and less reliability from your carriers, you’re not alone. As someone who is shipping freight, it’s critical to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the market in order to navigate the challenges that are coming with it. Let’s break down the factors that have led us here and what we can expect moving forward.

Key factors that have led to challenges in the transportation industry
Like so many other industries, freight transportation has been rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the cultural shifts that have come along with it. The pandemic not only created new challenges, but also exasperated existing pain points in the market – leading to the perfect storm. It all boils down to a case of supply vs. demand.

  • Consumer buying is strong and is driving up demand. While the world was locked down, we weren’t spending money on vacations or going out to eat. In many cases those spending dollars went towards buying goods instead. Retailers are doing what they can to keep up with demand and as a result, have an increased need for trucks to deliver their much needed inventory.
  • There is a truck driver shortage. The driver shortage is old news, but it is still very relevant now. Sometimes there just simply aren’t enough drivers available to take on new loads. For years, there have been more drivers retiring and leaving the profession than there have been new drivers entering the market. Unfortunately, the open road hasn’t been as attractive to this generation of the workforce as it once was.
  • Building new tractors are constrained by parts availability. Not only is it hard to move freight with less available drivers, but now we are also seeing a limit on new trucks on the road. Supply chains for many goods have been seriously disrupted thanks to the pandemic, and parts that are needed to build new tractors are no exception.

How LTL carriers are responding
With such volatile market conditions, LTL carriers are forced to respond. As no surprise, a major course of action they’ve taken is to increase rates. Simple economics tells us that an increased demand means they can charge more for their services.

Not only are they increasing rates, but they’re also looking to shed less desirable freight from their networks. Loads deemed less profitable, or more trouble than they’re worth, are harder to get covered because carriers want to prioritize loads that allow them to work efficiently and profitably.

Missed pickups, declined freight, and temporary terminal embargos have now become common place and plague freight carriers across the country, regardless of the company name and logo on the side of the truck.

LTL freight observations from the front lines
Many of our customers are exhausted dealing with carrier issues. In a survey we conducted earlier this year, 78% of respondents cited rising shipping costs as a challenge they were currently facing. Along with that, 47% noted they were experiencing longer transit times and 36% were dealing with poor carrier performance.

Freight shipping challenges

Our team has also noticed several concerning trends pop up with freight carriers. As if raising base rates wasn’t enough, we’ve seen them put in extra effort to collect on everything they can. Accessorial fees that you may not have seen on your bill in the past are now showing up for services you’ve always received. The carriers just aren’t as lax as they may have been in the past for charging for these extra services.

Because freight networks are so strained, we’re also seeing an uptick in missing shipments. If this has happened to you, you know how stressful it can be. The carriers are also doing everything in their power to deny claims for both missing and damaged shipments. They’re wanting to see them filed sooner than ever before and are requiring a great deal of evidence.

Estimated transit times for LTL freight has never been guaranteed, but now more than ever, we’re seeing shipments miss that predicted window. Unfortunately, longer transit times and missed pick-ups are becoming extremely prevalent, again due to how ill equipped carriers are to meet the current freight demand.

The quickly recovering economy is creating a new environment, in which all industries are competing for freight capacity and causing a new set of standards. Some shippers may be shocked by new carrier practices - from new fees to increased pickup and delivery times.

What can you do?
You may want to live by the old adage about how you can’t change others, only yourself. It’s not within your power to control carrier performance or consumer demand, but you can educate yourself and act accordingly.

  • Use a quality broker, like PartnerShip. While brokers have no control over what a carrier ultimately does with a shipment, a quality freight broker will provide the communication and creative solutions you need when caught up in an issue.
  • Follow the tried-and-true best practices for overcoming capacity challenges. Expand your current carrier network, build in extra time at every step of the shipping process, consolidate your shipments, and consider alternative services. While it’s not always possible to implement these strategies, following them any time the market is experiencing tight capacity can be very advantageous to your operations.
  • Become a shipper of choice. This means making your freight desirable to carriers. You probably aren’t able to change what you’re shipping, but there are some factors you can control. Being flexible with pick-up and delivery times, ensuring ease of access for the truck, and avoiding long detention times are all things carriers ultimately appreciate.

The widely reported driver shortage is very real, but it is only part of the challenge. Capacity is increasing, but not as quickly as the demand grows. Organizations that can adjust and plan accordingly will do a great deal to minimize disruptions in their supply chain.

Moving forward
Back to school season is upon us and the holidays are right around the corner. In short, demand is not expected to drop anytime soon. Will the supply side be able to catch up? Not likely. Recruiting and retaining the needed labor force will continue to be one of the biggest challenges in the industry. And as we enter hurricane season and another COVID-19 surge, we could see even more network disruptions.

At this point, it’s important to manage expectations. You’ll want to budget for higher freight costs and be mindful of potential delays, so you’re not caught off guard. For everything in-between, our team has the expertise to help you navigate these challenges. Contact PartnerShip today and lean on us when you need it most.

Your No-Nonsense Guide to Dimensional Weight Pricing

June 28, 2021 at 11:23 AMLeah Palnik

If you regularly ship with UPS or FedEx, you’ve likely encountered dimensional (DIM) weight pricing whether you realized it or not. Essentially it’s a way for the carriers to charge you more for larger, but lighter, packages. And if you’re not careful, it can drive up your costs significantly.

What is dimensional weight pricing?
Dimensional weight pricing is a way to rate your packages based on density in relation to weight. What that means is that instead of rating your package purely based on its actual weight, it also takes into account how much space your package takes up on the carriers’ delivery vehicles.

How do you calculate dimensional weight pricing?
Luckily for you, we have a DIM weight calculator you can use. But if you’re curious about the formula behind it, it’s fairly simple. Start by calculating the cubic size of your package – multiply length by width by height. Then take that total and divide it by 139, which is the dimensional divisor determined by FedEx and UPS. If the resulting DIM weight is higher than your actual weight, the DIM weight becomes the weight you’ll be rated on – otherwise known as your billable weight.

DIM Weight Calculation

Let’s look at a couple simple examples. If you have a 12x12x12 box, the dimensional weight will be 12 lbs. So if you’re shipping 15 lbs. of books, your package will be rated based on the actual weight of 15 lbs. But if you’re shipping 5 lbs. of ping pong balls, your package will be rated based on the DIM weight of 12 lbs. since it’s the higher weight.

Why is dimensional weight pricing used?
UPS and FedEx want to discourage shippers from using unnecessarily large packaging, and there is one main reason for this. The larger your package is, the more space it occupies on their planes and trucks. This in turn, leaves less room for other packages. UPS and FedEx make more money and work far more efficiently if they’re able to fill up their delivery vehicles with more packages.

The history of dimensional weight pricing
Once upon a time, not all shipments were subject to DIM weight pricing. The DIM factor that FedEx and UPS use has also changed over time – and not in a way that’s favorable to shippers. While the DIM weight formula and shipment qualifications have remained steady for a few years now, there’s no guarantee that it’ll stay that way. Let this be a lesson on how important it is to stay alert on any announced changes from both carriers.

How do you avoid overpaying due to dimensional weight pricing?
The most important thing you should be doing to avoid DIM weight pricing is right-sizing your packaging. You need to consider both the size of the item you’re shipping and also how fragile it is. Items that are at a greater risk of damage will need more cushioning, which will take up more space. Try to find packaging that allows enough room for the needed cushioning, but no more. The smaller you can make your package, while still keeping your item safe, the better.

There are a few resources available that you can use to find the right packaging for the items you’re shipping. UPS has a Packaging Advisor tool on their website that allows you to select your merchandise category and enter your dimensions to get customized packaging and cushioning guidelines.

FedEx also has a number of packaging guides based on the type of item you’re shipping. But beyond that, FedEx even has a Packaging Lab where you can send your packaging in for durability testing or request a design consultation to improve the efficiency of your packaging. Many of the services are free if you have an account.

Keeping your small package costs low
While ensuring you have efficient packaging to avoid DIM weight pricing is one way to help reduce your shipping costs, another is securing discounts with the carriers. That can be difficult for small and medium sized businesses to negotiate on their own. However, when you work with PartnerShip you can access savings that are typically reserved for high volume shippers. Contact our team to learn more.

DIM Weight Infographic