Call us today: (800) 716-7608
Vital Freight Measurements: 4 Things You Might Not Know

Vital Freight Measurements: 4 Things You Might Not Know

We’ve helped thousands of businesses and individuals all over the world get their goods from point A to point B faster and smarter.

There are four vital freight measurements to keep in mind when shipping freight. The last thing anyone wants to receive following a shipment is a billing adjustment, so you’ll want to be precise with your measurements. Managing or owning a business is a lot of work, and you’re probably looking for ways to streamline your shipping. Most small companies prioritize controlling freight spending, managing their time, and keeping customers happy. When shipping your products, you want to know that it gets where it needs to be without any issues. You may not know the ins and outs of freight shipping, but we can help! Below are four tips you might not know about vital freight measurements and how getting these wrong can result in adjustments at the end of your delivery.

Freight rate calculator
Shipping option
Pickup and delivery locations
Shipment information
Pickup and delivery locations
Shipment information

limit of 70 characters

Six Flags icon engine freight rate
Phillies icon motor shipping
Ford icon cost to ship an engine
IBM Icon online engine shipping
Coca-Cola icon engine shipping
Google icon track my shipment
FEMA track a shipment
trust pilot reviews
What our customers are saying

We provide competitive freight shipping prices and an all-inclusive, easy-to-use shipping experience for our customers. Exceeding our customers’ expectations results in thousands of satisfied customer reviews and repeat business. We believe in the power of our customer relationships. Check out FreightCenter reviews from real customers, and learn what they have to say about their freight shipping experience!

Let’s Get Started! Compare shipping rates in an instant!
Get a Freight Quote
Our Certifications

Awards and Endorsements

  • 2021 Food Logistics’ Top Green Providers
  • 2021 & 2018 Supply & Demand Chain Executives' Pros to Know: Matthew Brosious
  • 2020 & 2019 Top Food Logistics’ 3PL & Cold Storage Provider Award
  • 2020 & 2019 Business Observer’s Top 500 Companies on the Gulf Coast
  • 2020 & 2017 SmartWay® Transport Partner
  • 2020 & 2017 Food Logistics’ Champions: Rock Stars of the Supply Chain
  • 2020 Best of Palm Harbor Awards for Local Businesses
  • 2017 Green Supply Chain Award from Supply & Demand Chain Executive
  • 2017 Tampa Bay Business Journal Heroes at Work
  • 2016, 2015, & 2012 Food Logistics Top 100 Software and Technology Providers
  • 2013 Tampa Bay Business 100 by Tampa Bay Business Journal
  • 2013 Top 100 Great Supply Chain Partners by SupplyChainBrain
  • 2012 TIA Samaritan Award Honorable Mention
FreightCenter by the numbers
25 Years In Business
1m+ Shipments Booked
93% On-Time Performance
99.1% Damage Free Shipments

4 Things Go Into Vital Freight Measurements

Getting the weight right when booking a shipment is essential, but other equally important things go into freight measurements. It includes these four vital freight measurements:

  • Actual weight
  • Dimensional weight

Actual Weight

Actual weight is the fully packaged weight of your shipment, as weighed on a certified shipping scale, such as at a public weighing station. If you ship several times a year and your packages typically weigh less than 5,000 pounds, you might consider purchasing a shipping scale.

If buying your own scale is out of the question, you can usually get freight weighed at a local junkyard, a shipping depot or a warehouse. Call them first for permission and to schedule a time when you can use their freight scale. You can also Google “public freight scales near me” for additional options.

Getting the actual weight correct before booking your shipment is absolutely necessary. Carriers weigh and inspect every shipment that they handle, so contradicting information about your shipment’s details results in a billing adjustment.

Dimensional Weight

Dimensional weight, also called DIM weight, comes into play when the actual weight is low—dimensional weight bases weight on the volume of the package.

To calculate dimensional weight, the physical volume of the package (height x length x width in inches) is divided by a factor called the divisor, which is established by the carrier.

In general, UPS uses a divisor of 139 for daily rates and 166 for retail rates. Here’s an example of how DIM weight is used.

Let’s say a UPS rate package has an actual weight of 29 pounds and is 15 inches long by 20 inches wide by 18 inches high. That makes the volume of the package 5,400 cubic inches. Divide the volume by the rate divisor of 139, and you get a DIM weight of 38.84 pounds, rounded up to 39 pounds. So, the billable weight of the package would be 39 pounds because dimensional weight is always used when it is more significant than the actual weight.

Some freight carriers use DIM weight. If you are going to consider a page that uses DIM weight, you need to ensure you get the actual weight right and the package’s height, width, and length. TIP: Always round up to the next whole inch for each of your measurements!

Accurate Measurements

Remember, while you need an accurate weight for your shipment, you also need accurate measurements. As mentioned before, inconsistency between the shipment details you provide and what the carrier records results in costly billing adjustments after the shipment is completed.

If your shipment is crated, measuring is straightforward. Simply measure the height, length, and width. In the case of fractions of inches, always round up to the next whole inch. If your shipment is palletized, measure the width and length of the pallet rather than the item itself. Don’t forget that the item being shipped cannot extend beyond the edges of the pallet. Measure a straight line from the cargo’s highest point above the pallet going straight down through the pallet to the floor. That’s your height.

If you measure accurately, you’ll be in good shape. As with measuring a crate, always round up to the next whole inch for each of your measurements.


Density has always been important in freight shipping because dense cargo doesn’t waste space. That’s why the denser a commodity is, the lower the freight class and the lower the cost to ship.

Density is calculated to determine freight class when the cargo does not have a predetermined freight class as well as by density-based carriers to calculate the shipping cost. You want to remember that density is determined by:

  • The actual weight of the packaged cargo
  • The length, width and height of the crated or palletized freight

Getting your measurements and weight right will help you fill out a quote form more accurately and help you determine what your freight shipping costs could be.

Finely-tailored freight solutions

To create value for our customers by delivering customized shipping solutions that meet their unique needs and to fulfill shipping demands from simple to complex with expertise, guidance and ingenuity.

LTL Shipping

LTL shipping involves combining multiple small shipments from different customers onto one truck, allowing each customer to share the shipment cost. Trust the experts at FreightCenter to give you the best prices and the most comprehensive options for all your LTL freight shipping needs.

Full Truckload

Truckload shipping, also known as full truckload (FTL), is a transportation option for freight that requires the entire trucks trailer space. Unlike LTL shipping, FTL shipping is reserved for larger commodities that exceed LTL weight and size limits, typically weighing more than 20,000 pounds or having dimensions that exceed 12 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 8 feet in height. We deliver optimized solutions for full or partial truckloads and competitive dry van, flatbed, and refrigerated freight pricing. We can cover your full truckload shipping needs.

Expedited Service

Nationwide Expedited Trucking services move your freight securely and rapidly. Your freight requires fast delivery; our freight shipping experts can get your shipment fast, whether in one large box or a full truckload.

Specialized Freight Shipping

Specialized is a transportation option for items that require specialized handling, equipment, or shipping conditions. Specialized shipments may include high-value cargo, oversized cargo, or cargo that require temperature-controlled transportation. The most reliable Specialized Freight Services rates from all the top carriers are just a few steps away. From white glove service to international shipping, we've got you covered.

Freight Center
Loading date
zip code
Vital Freight Measurements: 4 Things You Might Not Know Guaranteed competitive pricing every time you ship.