What is Volumetric Weight?

Volumetric weight, also known as dimensional weight, is a method used in shipping to calculate the weight of a package based on its size rather than its actual weight. It’s particularly relevant when a lightweight package takes up a significant amount of space.

To calculate volumetric weight, the length, width, and height of the package are measured in centimeters or inches, then multiplied together to find the package’s volume in cubic units. This volume is then divided by a dimensional factor (often provided by the carrier) to determine the volumetric weight.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you have a package with dimensions of 50 cm in length, 40 cm in width, and 30 cm in height. The carrier’s dimensional factor is 5,000 (in cubic centimeters per kilogram).

  1. Calculate the volume: 50 cm x 40 cm x 30 cm = 60,000 cubic centimeters (or 60 liters).
  2. Divide the volume by the dimensional factor: 60,000 / 5,000 = 12 kilograms.

If the actual weight of the package is 8 kilograms but the volumetric weight calculated is 12 kilograms, the carrier might charge shipping fees based on the higher volumetric weight because the package occupies more space in relation to its actual weight.