What’s the Difference Between Dimensional Weight and Actual Weight?

shipping boxesOnce a relatively unknown technical term, dimensional weight has become an increasingly important measurement in modern business practice. Whether items are being shipped to customers or stored in a warehousing environment, the volume of space required is equally important as the gross weight.

Dimensional Weight vs. Actual Weight

Actual weight is the measurement that most people know well: It is exactly what an item or product weighs. In business operations, the actual weight also includes the packaging used in the shipping of the item.

Dimensional weight is of great importance in transporting items. The term dimensional weight includes the physical weight of an item and accounts for the three-dimensional space, also known as the spatial volume that a packaged item occupies.

Why Is Dimension Weight Important?

Dimensional weight is significant for businesses because its proper application reduces costs:

  •  For Manufacturers and Suppliers: It increases operational efficiency and significantly reduces transportation costs
  •  For Air and Ground Shippers: It streamlines operations and lowers fuel expenses

Calculating Dimensional Weight

It’s pretty straightforward to calculate dimensional weight. First, measure an item’s length, width, and height, also known as the item’s cubed dimensions. If the item is packaged, be sure to do this step after the packaging is finished. Next, weigh the item as accurately as possible. A precision dimensional scale can do all of these steps for you automatically and quickly.

What Are Dimensional Scales?

Dimensional scales are precision instruments that rapidly calculate the weight and volume of an item, object, or parcel.  They commonly utilize industrial-grade sensing technology to determine the cubic dimensions of the item. They also incorporate a precision scale that produces accurate weight readings. The best dimensional scales are not only precision instruments but are built to operate for many years in various industrial applications.

Accuracy and Efficiency: Two Keys to Excellence in Business Operations

Incorporating precision dimensional scales into your business’s workflow will enable you to improve operational efficiency significantly. In particular, you will automate the process of obtaining accurate and repeated dimensional weighings of your product line and shipping outflows.

When looking to use or buy a dimensional scale, it may be helpful to keep a few considerations in mind:

  •  How rapidly does the dimensional scale take measurements?
  •  Is it easily incorporated into your company’s existing workflow?
  •  Does it integrate with any third-party software that you currently use?
  •  Does the manufacturer custom-build and provide continuing support?

Tips for Dimensional Weighing Applications

If you are a manufacturer or supplier, here are a few tips in preparing your items for shipment:

  • Right-size your shipment by using packages that match the dimensions of your items
  • Do not over-utilize heavy packaging materials
  • Use a dimensional scale when preparing your outgoing shipments

Contact Worcester Scale

Worcester Scale has been in the calibration business serving a variety of industries since 1948. The company offers a complete line of electronic and mechanical scales and peripherals, flexible systems and software, and custom-designed industrial scales. Worcester’s scales are designed and manufactured to provide effective and affordable solutions to any company’s weighing and dimensioning concerns.

Let us know how we at Worcester Scale can help you streamline your business operations. We collaborate with our customers to help them achieve their goals.  Contact us with any questions or concerns.

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