The following are some guidelines on measuring your package and how to calculate dimensional weight. These formulae are provided for your reference, but if you do not understand them or are unsure of anything, please give us a call. Keep in mind that shipments are rated based on the outside dimensions of the final package, and not of the object itself.
How to measure - Measuring an item or package is a very easy process. Every object has 3 dimensions, sometimes called length (L), width (W), and depth (D). For purposes of shipping, length (L) is defined as the longest dimension, and width (W) and depth (D) are the two shorter dimensions.
To measure your item, first locate the longest side and measure it with your tape measure. This is the length (L). Now measure the next side. This will be the width (W). Finally, measure the remaining side. This number is the depth (D). You can now take these numbers and give them to us for purposes of quoting, or plug them into one of the below formulas to get dimensional weight or oversize rating.
Calculating length & girth - Length and girth is a measurement used to calculate oversize ratings as well as maximum sizes for each carrier. this can be easily done by doubling the two shorter dimensions and adding the result to the largest dimension (L+W+W+D+D). Another way to think of a length and girth measurement is adding the height to the waist measurement.
Calculating Dimensional Weight - Any shipment going through an air service (UPS Next Day Air, Second Day Air, etc. and all FedEx Express services) is subject to dimensional weight. Domestic dimensional weight is calculated by taking the number of cubic inches in your shipment (cubic inches can be easily calculated by multiplying the three dimensions in inches together, or LxWxD), dividing by 166 for domestic air and 139 for international shipments, and rounding up to the next whole number. You will be charged for the greater of this figure or the actual weight of the package (or oversize, in the case of UPS air).
The shipping industry has many rules and regulations. Below are simplified versions of some of the rules and regulations that more commonly affect shipments.
Packing - Items of a fragile nature are required by the carriers to meet higher standards of packing if insurance is desired. The specifics are too detailed to get into in the context of a web site, but our professional packing services page will give you a general idea. If you have questions about a specific item, call us, or better yet, stop in with the item. The additional packing adds weight to the shipment, and in many cases will result in higher dimensional weight and oversize ratings than a similarly sized, more durable item.
High Value Shipments - Here at MacPac, we are able to insure items for up to $50,000 of value. Items of $1000 or greater insured value are treated a little differently than those with values less than $1000. If you wish to declare a value of $1000 or greater, the item must be packed in accordance with packing standards. The best way to do that is to make sure that all high value shipments are packed professionally.
Illegal and Hazardous Contents
Hazardous Materials - Many things are considered by OSHA and the Department of Transportation to be hazardous materials. If an item is classified in this way, it cannot be shipped unless the shipper has a permit to do so, must be picked up from the permit holders place of business by the carrier, and must be billed to that businesses account. Some of the more common items are:
· Aerosol cans
· Anything containing alcohol
· Flammable liquids, gasses, or solids
· Infectious substances
· Many cleaning products
· Many chemical compounds
· Compressed gasses
· Explosives and ammunition
· Appliances or items containing battery acid, oil, fuel, or freon
The above list is by no means exhaustive, and the actual listings fill a rather large book. If you would like to find out about a specific item feel free to give us a call. We will be happy to provide you with as much information as we can.