Understanding Dim Weight

Keeping costs low while still providing the best services and solutions to customers will always be the priority of any business. Sometimes, unfortunately, new policies can make cutting costs a lot more difficult.

In an effort to update their value analysis for the space on their trucks and prevent ‘cubing out’ (when a truck runs out of space before it reaches its weight capacity), FedEx and UPS have both made the switch to dimensional weight practices, or dim-weight. This means that all boxes, not just the ones above 3 cubic feet, will be charged for either the actual weight of the package, or the dimensional weight – whichever is greater. This means that all boxes leaving your warehouse have to be measured as well as weighed, adding a whole new element of labor to your shipping process.

Dimensional weight is easy to figure out. Take the length, width and height of a package and divide it by 166 if the package is being shipped domestically and 139 if it is being shipped internationally. The equations look like this:

dim weight domestic


dim weight international


Although they seem simple enough, these equations can mean bad news for businesses that use UPS and FedEx to ship products to their customers. Unless you’re using a packaging method that actively works to reduce the size of packages without sacrificing the safety and value of your product, you can be sure that prices to ship your inventory will go up.

All companies need to make sure that their shipping departments are aware of this change and knowledgeable about how to help decrease the dimensional weight of packages exiting the warehouse. Another thing to be aware of is bulging. If a box bulges due to poor handling on the shipper’s part, new fees can be incurred due to the dimensional change. If you have had issues with either a disproportionately large dimensional weight or package bulging when you are shipping, a new packaging solution is essential for your company to keep costs down.

There are a number of solutions to the issues imposed by this new policy, and the main one is to use more efficient, low weight packaging. Alternative packaging methods like bags, Surface Guard cohesive packages, and smaller cartons with less air are just a few examples of necessary solutions that will reduce your headache.

Click here to see all of the different solutions from different industry leading packaging companies that R.V. Evans has to offer. You can also visit our contact us page, or schedule a site needs analysis with one of our professional representatives.



4 Benefits of a Stretch Wrapping Machine vs Hand Wrapping

There is a fairly good chance that if you were to ask someone that works in a warehouse packaging/shipping department, what the worst job was, the answer would be stretch wrapping pallets by hand. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, stretch wrapping machines are one of the most cost justifiable pieces of equipment in any packaging/shipping process. So for those of you who may be experiencing the aches and pains of hand wrapping firsthand, here are four main reasons people switch to a stretch wrapping machine.

1) Safety

Depending on the size and shape of the pallet that you are wrapping, there is a great amount of bending and twisting involved ensuring that the entire pallet is wrapped thoroughly. Even with very neat and square pallets, employees are walking around in circles causing dizziness and fatigue. The amount of manual labor involved with stretch wrapping a pallet by hand is high and often takes a lot of energy that employees will need throughout the day. Upgrading to a stretch wrapping machine can greatly improve the health, energy, and safety of your warehouse workers.

2) Cost Savings

Stretch wrapping machines provide incredible material cost savings to any packaging/shipping process. One contributing factor of material cost savings is the pre-stretch functionality of stretch film. A standard stretch wrapping machine can pre-stretch the material by 260% its original length. This results in huge savings for customers that are currently wrapping by hand. The average pre-stretch capability of an employee wrapping a pallet by hand is between 10-20%. Using an average of 240 to 250% less material per skid is an added-value that contributes to why stretch wrapping machines are so cost justifiable and provide a quick ROI in any process.

3) Consistent Wraps & Improved Load Containment

Depending on the size and shape of the pallet being wrapped, consistency can be a factor. It is incredibly difficult for a warehouse employee who is wrapping a pallet by hand to produce uniform, consistent, and quality wrap results on every pallet. This can cause product shifting or falling during shipping, leading to decreased customer satisfaction when damaged product is received. A stretch wrapping machine allows every load to be wrapped in a consistent manner using a predetermined setting eliminating that human error factor.

4) Increase Throughput

Along with the fatigue and danger that manual wrapping causes, hand wrapping pallets is time consuming. It takes longer for a warehouse employee to walk around a pallet several times wrapping it than it does to set it on a machine and walk away. Using a stretch wrapping machine frees up time for a worker to accomplish other tasks while the machine is wrapping the pallet. The stretch wrap machine can also perform its function much faster than an operator, increasing overall throughput.

All of these reasons can contribute to the cost justification of purchasing a stretch wrapping machine. Contact one of R.V. Evans’ sales professionals for your own personal Site Needs Analysis and receive a custom ROI report.

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