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How to Measure Freight for Transport

When shipping a large or heavy item, you need to determine whether to ship it as a parcel or freight. For smaller packages, standard parcel shipping companies offer the best price and services. As the size and weight of your package increases, alternative options for shipping become more cost-effective.

Measuring the weight, length, girth, cubic size, and dimensional weight of your shipment will help you decide which shipping services work best for you. Having accurate measurements will also help your freight carrier classify and price your shipment.

  • Weight: Standard domestic measure is in pounds.
  • Length: Measure the longest side of your package, rounding to the nearest inch.
  • Girth: Measure the width of your package and multiply by two. Add this to the height of your package multiplied by two. (2W + 2H = Girth)
  • Cubic Size: Length x Width x Height

Dimensional Weight: Dimensional weight is used instead of actual weight when the actual weight of a shipment is disproportionately low compared to the size of the package. For example, the “weight” for shipping a box full of inflated rubber balls would be based on dimensional weight instead of actual weight. Dimensional weight is calculated by dividing cubic size by 194 (166 for international freight shipments).