What is Dimensional Weight Pricing?

Sometimes the person at the front counter may tell you your package will be priced dimensionally. What does this mean and how does it effect your final price? Shipping used to be pretty straight forward and your package shipping cost was figured on the weight only but most shippers figured out this wasn't cost affective and they alreaded added a bunch of what they call "assesorarial charges" such as the fuel surcharge, extended delivery area surcharge, evening delivery surcharge and others. Dimensional pricing is new to the world and a way to have a higher price without rasing list prices.


Your phone bill may be $25 but you are usually charged more to cover taxes and fees and the final bill is closer to$50. Dimensional pricing is the same for the shipping companies. To maximize the packing and loading of each truck, they will consider the size and weight of each package.


So how do I figure out what it really costs to send my package and how do I find ways to minimize the cost of each shipment? The answer is actually simple to understand if you know a few specifics. Fortunately, the formula remains consistant from year to year.




Why should I rent a private mailbox?


Keep your home address private

In the growing Internet world, there are many home based businesses and consumers selling merchandise on the web. You may be selling items on eBay, Yahoo, Amazon or even on your own business website but whatever the case, there may be some decisions you need to make.


One of the important business decisions you need to make is should you use your home address as your receiving address? Take in to consideration the safety and security of your residential address, the safety of receiving inventory at your home and the professional image your business is trying to establish and maintain.

Incidents of mail theft from home mail boxes and USPS (United States Postal Service) collection boxes continue to rise. There have been news accounts of this. Some thefts include removal of the entire set of collection and delivery boxes. Identity thieves harvest personal information from credit card bills and other mail, costing Americans millions of dollars in lost time and monetary losses. You can help prevent identity fraud by keeping your home address private.


Another option is a Private Mail Box (PMB) from a local Mail and Parcel center (like Mail and Shipping Pros). PMB’s are available from authorized Commercial Mail Receiving Agencies (CMRA) which can also not only receive your mail and parcels but can securely receive and store packages from companies like UPS, FedEx and Speed-Dee.

A PMB address will be an actual street address, versus the PO Box address you may receive from the Post Office. The advantages of a PMB address include:


  • You can get packages and shipments and your USPS mail and packages from FedEx, UPS, and Speed-Dee Delivery (and anyone else) delivered to your PMB address. A PO Boxes cannot accept packages from vendors other than the USPS.
  • Your packages will not be left unattended or setting unsupervised on your porch, there is always someone to sign for your package at a PMB (like Mail and Shipping Pros) and hold it for you in a safe, secure setting.
  • No need to stand in a lengthy line (like the Post Office) waiting to get your packages or mail. Mail and Shipping Pros tries to make it as simple as show up, request you packages, sign the tablet and go.
  • Your personal mailbox is always monitored and secured to avoid theft and missing mail and packages. If the store is closed you know your mail and parcels are secured in a locked facility accessible to no one.
  • PMB’s can forward mail to out of town business travelers, all you need to do is contact the PMB and let them know where to forward your mail or packages on a regular basis, domestic and internationally.
  • A PMB address develops a more professional image than a home street address. The PMB builds credibility with customers and contributes to mage.
  • Your mail is private, only you have the key and in cases where you forget your key, with proper ID, you can still receive your mail from a PMB agent.
  • You can make a small home-based business grow and expand into different cities with little cost to you.


Who uses alternate addresses?

Internet shoppers and sellers, frequent travelers, including sales representatives, home-based businesses, personal ad respondents, divorcees and ironically farmers (a box here while growing season is on with mail delivered to wherever during the off season.


Why should I use an authorized Commercial Mail Receiving Agency?

If your mail from the post office is not authorized by the U.S. Postal Service and does not conform to their policies and regulations, the mail may be held or returned to the sender by the Post Office.


How do I know my mail privacy will be secure?

We are an authorized CMRA.  The U.S. Post Office closely monitors mail-receiving agents to make sure there is the same level of mail privacy as there is in the U.S. Post Office itself. The fines and inevitable prison terms associated with mail tampering assure you that your mail will be handled with the utmost care and professionalism. Experienced professionals handle your mail in a private and secure fashion. Mail and Shipping Pros is a private business and is not affiliated with the U.S. Postal Service in any way (except receiving your mail). Therefore, your privacy is protected and enforced under strict mail privacy laws.


Why should I use a new box for shipping?

There are several good reasons to consider using a new box. The phrase “new box” indicates the box hasn’t ever before been used for shipping. UPS, FedEx and the post office report that a box loses 50% of its strength each time it is sent through the shipping process.

The first thing to consider is the heaviness of the box. Note this is not the weight of whatever you are shipping but how heavy or thick the box itself is. On a new box, the weight or box 'test weight' is typically printed on one of the flaps. When shipping, use a box with a test weight of at least 200 pounds. Boxes which are called 32ETC is appropriate for shipping lighter items but should not be used for heavier items. If you find a box that is 275-pound test weight, it is 32% stronger than a 200-pound test weight box.

UPS, FedEx and the post office use the following strength guidelines:


       Maximum Weight                                 

        of Item Shipped                                Suggested Box

       30 pounds.................................. 32ETC

       40 pounds.................................. 200 Pound Single Wall

       65 pounds.................................. 275 Pound Single Wall

       80 pounds.................................. 275 Pound Double Wall

     100 pounds.................................. 350 Pound Double Wall


200-pound test refers to bursting strength, while 32ECT refers to stacking strength. Boxes which meet 200-pound test will also exceed 32ECT stacking strength.

200-pound test boxes require a heavier paper grade and have a bursting strength of up to 60% greater than 32ECT boxes.


Also, 200-pound test boxes perform more consistently.


A reputable box manufacturer we work with says, “the more a box is used, the more it loses its original protective qualities and may not adequately protect the shipment.” Make sure the box used is rigid, is in excellent condition with no punctures, tears, rips, or corner damage and that all flaps are intact. Make sure shoeboxes or paperboard boxes are never used and remove old address labels, Hazardous Materials indicators such as diamond labels and markings as well as delivery markings and bar codes from the previous shipment. Make sure any internal foam is not cracked or broken. If the foam is broken, replace it with a new foam insert.

Box Size:

Choose a final box size to be as close to what is being shipped as possible. Shipping costs are calculated based on the box size so a box which is too large will cost more to ship and is more likely to be damaged by the processing machines. If a box is chosen close to the actual size of the object being shipped not only will it cost less to ship and you will also have the added advantage of reducing the possibility of the box being damaged.

Box Packing:

When choosing a shipping container, make sure it is at least six inches longer, wider, and higher than the pieces being shipped.

Fill the bottom of the new shipping container with at least two inches to three inches of foam-in-place, polyethylene corner or edge pads, inflatable packaging, loose fill peanuts, or other suitable dunnage material. Wadded up newspaper is not recommended.

Place the original manufacturer's box (if using) on top of the cushioning material and in the center of the shipping container, allowing for at least two inches to three inches of cushioning around the remaining sides of the package.

Fill the remaining empty space in the package with foam-in-place, polyethylene corner or edge pads, inflatable packaging, loose fill peanuts, or other suitable packing (not wadded up newspapers) material.

Seal the shipping container with either two inches or more width of pressure-sensitive or nylon-reinforced tape (three inches is better), applying three strips of tape to both the top and bottom of the box, so the middle so the edge seams are sealed.

Box Taping:

Place the items you wish to ship in a properly cushioned box and seal with tape. Masking tape and duct tape are not accepted by any of the carriers (FedEx, UPS, Speedy or the post office). Packaging tape is easy easily found in discount stores (and Mail and Shipping Pros) and if applied correctly, holds cardboard better. Use the ‘H’ style of taping. The ‘H’ style tapes both open ends of the box and crosses the box down the middle to kind of fasten the box together. Three-inch tape is better than two-inch tape but two-inch tape is much easier to find than three-inch tape.


Tape is NOT the place to save on cost. Make sure the tape is fully covered with adhesive, doesn’t tear easily and has a little “body”. Inexpensive tape will waste the time you’ve spent preparing the box to ship.



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