**Purpose:** This article explains volumetric weight (also known as dimensional weight) and how to calculate it to avoid receiving unwanted surcharges on parcels.

**Related articles:**

## Volumetric weight vs actual weight

**Why does it matter?**

Volumetric weight, also known as dimensional weight, is a pricing technique for commercial freight transport (including courier and postal services).

**Note:**exceeding the volumetric or dimensional weight will result in a surcharge from your carrier. Carriers choose to charge for the greater value of the two weights.

**What is volumetric weight?**

Volumetric weight is the ‘volume’ that a package occupies when in transit (the physical size of a package).

**What is actual weight?**

The actual (or physical) weight of a package is its actual weight measured in kilograms.

## How to calculate volumetric weight

**Note:**Different carriers may use another formula to calculate the volumetric weight of a package. Please check first with your carrier what formula they use. This will also vary on the type of freight; land, air, or sea.

The most common means to calculate volumetric weight is by multiplying the length, width, and height of a parcel (in cm) and dividing that figure by 5000 (some carriers use a divisor of 4000).

Often the price of your shipment is dictated by the **volumetric weight** of your parcel(s) rather than the **actual** **weight**.

**Using a calculator:**

- Multiply the parcel’s three dimensions (length x height x width)
- If you are using centimeters then divide the result by 5000
- If you are using inches then divide the result by 305
- The resulting figure represents the volumetric weight of your parcel

The courier will compare the volumetric weight to the actual weight of a parcel and charge whichever is the greater of the two (also known as billable weight or chargeable weight).

## Chargeable weight calculator