UPS & FedEx Dimensional Weight Policies Dec 2014 & Jan 2015

Fri, 09/19/2014

UPS & FedEx Dimensional Weight Policies December 2014 & January 2015


UPS and FedEx will start charging for all ground delivery by package size for all deliveries, instead of just those over 3 cubic feet.  This pricing change goes into effect December 29th for UPS and January 5th for FedEx.  This would include smaller items that they used to charge only by weight.  The new scope of the "dimensional pricing" is directly targeted at bulky but light packages containing things like toilet paper, sweaters and shoes.  It could be a major upheaval for online shopping whose growth has been propelled in part by stores offering free shipping.

Under the current system, a box of 30 rolls of toilet paper weighing 5 pounds only gets charged for its weight.  But the 10-inches-by-14-by-24 box it comes in takes up a lot of space in trucks and cargo planes that could go to smaller and heavier boxes.  So starting December 29th with UPS and January 5th with FedEx, the shipment could be billed as if it weighed 21 pounds.

This change is to promote packaging efficiency, and reduce packaging material and fuel consumption, since it will push shippers to reduce package sizes.  Although this is true to some extent, the fact remains that this change will increase the transportation cost of most low-weight ground shippers dramatically.  Depending on the contractual incentives and minimum package charges, the dimensional weight can result in cost increases of up to 60%.

Shippers should take proactive steps to mitigate this cost increase, one of which is what UPS and FedEx are both advising: reducing the package dimesioins and increasing the density of the shipments as much as possible.

DIM Weight Cheat Sheet

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