Everyone knew that dimensional weight was coming in 2015, but it was difficult to predict the impact that it would have on many parcel shippers. The impact for both FedEx and UPS has been great. Even with lower volumes of packages, revenues are still increasing. For the average shipper, this is not good! This means the cost to ship a package is increasing, mostly due to dimensional weight. Now that we know dimensional weight with UPS and FedEx is here to stay, we need to look at what we have learned and ways we can manage the impact.
What was the Impact?
Now that you have a history of dimensional weight, it is a good time to go back through and analyze your UPS or FedEx bills. For many small to medium sized companies shipping direct to consumer, it may have been hard to truly understand what the impact was going to be. When analyzing your bill, look at the packages that were effected. Were there similarities in the item that was shipped or the size box that was used? All this data can help you find the true issue that is causing you to be affected by dimensional weight.
I think many of us were wondering how we would calculate dimensional weight before we received our UPS and FedEx bill. There had to be a way without spending thousands of dollars to know what the dimensional weight was going to be, quickly and efficiently. There has been some recent advancement in technology that, for a relatively inexpensive cost, you can capture a lot of this information. For instance, Bluetooth tape measures allow you send the dimensions directly to your manifesting software just by taking a few quick measurements.
Having your boxes barcoded can also help to capture the dimensions. Scanning one extra barcode at the time of manifesting is more efficient and, with some minor programing, can produce similar results.
Finding ways to continuously improve box sizes, packaging material and other ways to decrease the size of your package is the best way to mitigate the impact of dimensional weight. Even if you did an analysis six months or a year ago, continue to make sure the improvements that you put in are having the effect you want.
Work with FedEx and UPS to see if you can get a better dim weight factor. Your UPS or FedEx rep can always look to add an amendment to your contract to improve your dimensional weight factor. When negotiating, always go into these meetings prepared with actual data that you can show them.
Look to Other Options
UPS and FedEx are not the only shipping options out there, but they are the only carriers that aggressively moved on their dim weight. Looking at options like USPS, regional carriers or a mail consolidation company can help with lowering your shipping costs.