Frequently Asked Packaging Questions: Dim Weight, Packaging Resources, and More

Packaging FAQs


What can I do to optimize my packaging?

Evaluate your packaging to ensure that you are using the appropriate size boxes for your product. You can also explore other options beyond corrugated boxes. For example, using padded or poly mailers may suit your needs and decrease unnecessary dim weight.

Contact your FedEx representative to better understand the impact packaging can have on your business. We can help you improve packaging efficiency and reduce costs.

What packaging resources does FedEx offer?

We have tips, guides, videos, and supplies to help you pack like a pro. Just go to to learn more. You can also ask our pros for assistance with packaging design and testing, including guidance on printing your own shipping labels.

What services are offered at the FedEx Package Testing and Design Lab?

The pros at the state-of-the-art FedEx Package Testing and Design Lab offer free package testing, design, and engineering information services for a wide variety of products. Plus, your business benefits from the dedicated support of our nationwide team of field packaging engineers.

We offer package testing and design for:

  • Parcel
  • Air freight
  • Less-than-truckload (LTL) freight

Can a FedEx Office team member pack my shipment for me?

Yes. If being a packaging expert isn’t your thing, you don’t have supplies on hand, or you’re pressed for time, you can let a team member at your local FedEx Office pack and send your shipment for you. Go to to find a location near you.  Packaging fees and item restrictions apply. 

Does FedEx offer any carbon-neutral shipping options?

Yes. Through FedEx carbon-neutral envelope shipping, every FedEx® Envelope delivery is carbon offset to minimize its impact on the environment — at no extra charge to you. It’s all part of EarthSmart, FedEx solutions for a sustainable world.

Why is proper packaging important?

Recent e-commerce shipping trends have led to a decrease in package density. The average package weight compared to its exterior dimensions is declining, which is inefficient and costly for small businesses. Dim weight pricing methods will encourage businesses everywhere to optimize their packaging practices.

Packing properly may boost your bottom line.

Many businesses use a few standard box sizes for all shipments without realizing the impact of dim weight on their shipping costs. FedEx can help you analyze your typical shipments and determine the right variety of box sizes necessary to protect your products without wasted dim weight. 

What is dim weight?

Dim weight reflects package density, which is the amount of space a package occupies in relation to its actual weight. All FedEx Express® and FedEx Ground® shipments within the U.S., U.S. import-rated international shipments, and U.S. export shipments are subject to dim weight rating.

Billable weight is the weight used to calculate your rate. For domestic and international services, the billable weight will either be the dim weight or the actual weight of your package (whichever number is greater). Calculations of dim weight are subject to change without notice.

See the FedEx Service Guide for more details on dim weight.

How is dim weight calculated?

Dim weight is calculated based on the length, height, and width of the package. The dim weight becomes the billable weight when the dim weight of your package exceeds its actual weight.

Follow these easy steps to calculate dim weight:

  1. Calculate the cubic size of your package in inches. Round each measurement of your package to the nearest whole inch. Multiply the length by width by height of your package. The resulting total is the cubic size of your package. 
  2. Determine actual weight. Use any standard scale to determine the actual weight of your package. Increase any fraction to the next whole pound.
  3. Determine dim weight. Divide the cubic size of your package in inches by 139. Increase any fraction to the next whole pound. 
  4. Determine billable weight. Compare the package's actual weight to its dim weight. The larger of the two weights is the billable weight and should be used to calculate the rate.
  5. For multiple-package shipments, total the billable weight of all packages in the shipment.

Why are the rates on my invoice different from my rate quotes?

There are a number of reasons why the rates on your invoice may be different from your rate quotes. For example, the service type or the amount of information entered may differ. Another possible answer is that the package dimensions were not included in the estimate, but the package dimensions do affect the actual shipping cost.

For offline devices like FedEx Ship Manager® Server and FedEx Ship Manager® Software, the most common answer is that the automation device has not downloaded the most recent rate file.

For online devices like FedEx Web Services and it’s possible that the entered order weight was different from the actual. 

For further clarification please contact Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339.

Who should I contact to help me enter dimensions into my automation solution?

For a more accurate rate quote on your automation solution, ensure that you have entered your package dimensions. If you are using a FedEx® Compatible provider for your integration, please contact the provider directly. If you are not using a Compatible Provider, you may contact your internal IT development team or contact Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339.

For more information on FedEx rates, click here.


Visual reference infographic

For a visual reference guide to basic packaging considerations, check out our printable and downloadable PDF (5.4MB)

Visual reference infographic

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