Looming Changes in FedEx and UPS Dimensional Weight Pricing

By: Dennis Smith – Packaging Specialist

Effective December 29, 2014, UPS is changing to Dimensional Weight Shipping pricing for its ground services with FedEx implementing their changes January 1, 2015. Experts claim that 33% of all Ground shipments will be impacted by this change.

Currently, FedEx Ground charges dimensional weight pricing only to packages measuring three cubic feet or greater, but the new Dimensional Weight Pricing changes will apply to all packages. UPS already applies Dimensional Weight pricing for UPS air services (domestic and international), UPS Standard to Mexico ground services and for UPS ground packages and UPS Standard to Canada packages measuring three cubic feet in size or larger. Starting December 29, 2014 dimensional weight will be utilized to calculate the billable weight of a shipment of all UPS ground services and UPS Standard to Canada packages followed by FedEx implementing the same policy a few days later on (January 1, 2015).

Determining the impact:
For example, a FedEx Ground package of 20x14x12 the dimensional weight is 20 lbs.

20” x 14” x 12” = 3,360 cubic inches

Volume/dimensional divider = 3,360/166 = 20 lbs.

You then compare the dimensional weight to the actual weight, and the higher of the two becomes the billable weight. For example, if the actual weight is 14 lbs. you will then be billed at the 20 lb. dimensional weight.

How to help offset this rate increase:

The most significant way to help offset this increase is to be aware of the box size and not using unnecessarily large boxes for lighter shipments.

EPS (Expandable Polystyrene) Fabricated and Molded protection options:

Obviously, EPS protective packaging is lightweight and, at the same time, also offers critical impact protection and thermal values.  It also occupies a certain amount of space within the shipping container that adds to the Dimensional Weight calculation.

ACH Foam Technologies offers optimal utilization of EPS foam (fabricated and molded) through proper design for a variety of products. By understanding the particular requirements of our customers and the wide array of products they manufacture and ship, we can incorporate the optimal protection thermal value to assist in maintaining the least amount of package dimension in order to help offset the new FedEx and UPS Dimensional Weight Pricing changes.

Proper utilization of EPS Loose-Fill (Peanuts):

To properly protect fragile products in transit, center the object in the container, surrounded by loose-fill.

Start by filling the corrugated container approximately half-way with EPS Loose-Fill (peanuts), then center the object in the container and continue filling the container with loose-fill so there is a slight dome above the top edge of the container. Then, taking the flaps of the container, compress the dome downward and seal with tape.

This compresses the loose-fill in and around the object to be protected; locking it in place so that it doesn’t shift and migrate to the edge of the corrugated container (subjecting it to potential damage). This offers better protection and utilization of the EPS protective packaging within the package dimensions. The size of the container and the amount of loose-fill used would of course have to be determined by the weight and fragility of the object being protected.

For assistance in helping design a package for your application and to help offset the new changes in Dimensional Weight Pricing changes, please contact your nearest ACH Foam Technologies Packaging Specialist in your area.

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