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How to Calculate Shipping Cost

Here's How to Calculate Your Shipping Cost

Like all airlines and air shipping companies, your shipping cost is determined by looking at the weight and dimensions of your package, and comparing the actual weight and the dimensional weight to determine which is bigger. Figures 1 and 2 below explains the difference between the actual and dimensional weight. Your shipping cost will be based on the higher of the actual and dimensional weight, and its called your chargeable weight.

The Actual Weight - This is simply the weight in kilogram/pound of a package as measured on a scale. 


Figure 1 - Actual Weight here is 28 pounds.

The Dimensional Weight - This looks at the size of a package to quantify the space it takes during shipping, and the airlines assign a weight to the package based on the size. A simple way to explain this is to look at a box of cotton wool that weighs just 10 kg (about the weight of a one year old baby). If not compressed, this can take the size of a whole plane, but the airlines will not charge you for just 10kg, but will look at the space your shipment takes on board. A universal formula used by air air shipping companies is shown below.

Dimensional box

Figure 2 - Calculating Your Dimensional Weight

Your Chargeable Weight - is the greater between the actual weight (figure 1) and the dimensional weight (figure 2). The chargeable weight is used to determine your shipping cost. This is the same formula and process used by all airlines and shipping companies. , and the below links shows the same explanation as used by DHL, Fedex and UPS. 

NOTE: From experience, only 10% of your items or less will be affected by a bigger dimensional weight, hence the weight seen on most sites will be all you need to determine your shipping cost. 

See also: DHLUPSFedex


Examples: Table 1 Shows examples of how the shipping cost is calculated for two items.

NOTE: Our shipping quote tool is programmed to automatically determine the chargeable weight, and will provide you with an accurate shipping cost once you input the weight and dimensions.


Table 1

Shopping Tips

To ensure you are aware of your accurate shipping cost prior to making a purchase, please follow these tips.

1.     Use our item quote tool. This will provide you with the shipping cost for most commonly shipped items.

2.     Be sure to check the weight and dimensions of the item in its package (not weight and dimensions of the items removed from the package). Most sites will list the package weight and dimensions. If not sure, ask them.

3.     For items such as shoes, be sure that you set your shipping preference in your account to always remove shoe boxes. This ensures that for items such as shoes, you are only charged for the actual weight.