What is volumetric weight?

The volumetric weight can also be called volume weight. It represents the weight of a package and its dimensions. Courier/Parcel companies often use volumetric weight and not actual weight to calculate their transport fares.

Volumetric weight is used because transportation vehicles such as trucks and aircraft are usually fully packed and run out of space although they can take in more weight.

To better understand this concept we can look at an example.

A shipment of Styrofoam balls may weigh 150 kg, while another shipment of books may also weight 150 kgs. In this case, although the weight of both shipments will be the same, the space that both shipments will occupy will not be the same.  Obviously the Styrofoam balls will need much more space in the vehicle.  This is why transport companies cannot just use the actual weight to quote the transport fare for shipments. It allows them to more fairly charge for the services rendered. These companies will usually use the highest value between the actual weight and volumetric weight.

There are many volumetric weight calculators available online.

To calculate the volumetric weight of your shipment, you multiply Length (cm) x Width (cm) x Height (cm), then divide it by the courier’s volumetric factor.

The courier’s volumetric factor can change depending on the type of transport contracted for, such as higher rates for express shipments.

How to reduce the volumetric weight of a parcel?

Use a box or packaging of a suitable size for the shipment. Do not use a larger box since using a larger box than necessary, as it will make the result of the volumetric weight calculation greater. This will make the shipping cost higher. The smaller the size of the packaging, the lower the volumetric weight.

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