The Skinny on Shipping: How Density Affects the Cost of Your Parcels

When it comes to parcel shipments, one of the most important factors to consider is the density of the package. Density is defined as the weight of an object per unit of volume, and it plays a significant role in determining the shipping cost of a package. In this article, we'll explore the differences between lower density and higher density parcel shipments and how they affect the actual vs. billable weight.

## Lower Density Parcel Shipments

Lower density parcels are those that occupy more space but weigh less. These types of packages may contain bulky items such as pillows, clothing, or soft toys. Because the package takes up more space but weighs less, the shipping cost is calculated based on the dimensional weight or volumetric weight.

Dimensional weight is calculated by multiplying the length, width, and height of the package, then dividing by a factor known as the dimensional weight factor, which is set by the carrier. The resulting number is the dimensional weight, which is then compared to the actual weight of the package. The higher of the two weights is used to determine the shipping cost.

For example, if a package weighs 10 pounds but has a dimensional weight of 15 pounds, the carrier will charge based on the 15-pound weight.

## Higher Density Parcel Shipments

Higher density parcels, on the other hand, are those that weigh more but occupy less space. These types of packages may contain dense items such as books, electronics, or machinery parts. Because the package weighs more, the shipping cost is calculated based on the actual weight of the package.

In this case, the carrier will weigh the package and use that weight to calculate the shipping cost. There is no need to calculate the dimensional weight because the package's weight is greater than its volume.

## Actual vs. Billable Weight

The difference between actual weight and billable weight is crucial in determining the shipping cost of a package. Actual weight is the weight of the package as measured on a scale. Billable weight, on the other hand, is the weight used to calculate the shipping cost, which can be either the actual weight or the dimensional weight, depending on which one is higher.

To illustrate the difference between actual and billable weight, let's look at an example. Suppose you have a package that weighs 5 pounds and has dimensions of 18 inches by 12 inches by 8 inches. The carrier's dimensional weight factor is 139. The dimensional weight of the package is calculated as follows:

(18 x 12 x 8) / 139 = 13.86 pounds

Since the dimensional weight is higher than the actual weight, the carrier will charge based on the dimensional weight of 13.86 pounds.

Conclusion

In summary, the density of a package plays a significant role in determining the shipping cost. Lower density packages are charged based on dimensional weight, while higher density packages are charged based on actual weight. Understanding the difference between actual and billable weight is also crucial in determining the shipping cost of a package. When shipping a package, it's important to consider its density and choose the appropriate shipping method to ensure the most cost-effective shipping solution.