Daily Archives: May 26, 2022

If you run an online store, you’re probably familiar with words like ‘dead weight’ and ‘volumetric weight’. These terms are frequently used in eCommerce, but many vendors get confused between dead and volumetric weights.

Sellers often make mistakes while calculating weights, resulting in weight discrepancies. So, to avoid such hindrances, we’ve put up this guide to assist you to grasp the meanings, calculations, and differences between the two weights.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the main content.

What is Dead Weight?

dead weight

The deadweight is the actual weight of your package in grams or kilograms when you put the package on a weighing machine.

When logistic companies choose to charge a package based on dead weight, they ignore the physical dimensions of your shipment. There are some carriers in the market that charge depending on dead weight.

How to calculate Deadweight?

dead weight

Let’s understand by considering the example of a package containing feather pillows. To measure the dead weight of this package, we need to place this box on a weighing scale.

The weight displayed in grams or kilograms will be considered the dead weight of the package. Let’s assume the weight comes out to be 2kg, so the dead weight will be 2kgs.

However, it will be compared with the volumetric weight of your package and then you will be charged accordingly.

Calculation of dead weight is easy, isn’t it? Now let’s move on to volumetric weight. It’s as easy as this one.

What is Volumetric Weight?

The volumetric weight, also known as dimensional weight, is a measurement of the total size of a parcel. It is determined by a package’s length, breadth, and height.

Volumetric weight is a pricing method used by logistics companies based on the amount of space your shipment takes up on a truck or aircraft.

For instance, shipping a truck full of feather pillows is more expensive than shipping a truck full of smartphones.

As said earlier, volumetric weight refers to the length, breadth, and height of a package. Therefore, a big box of pillows will be considered heavier than a small box of cellphones.

How to calculate Volumetric weight?

dead weight

The volumetric weight of a parcel can be calculated by multiplying its length, breadth, and height (in cm) divided by 5000 which is a DIM divisor. The DIM divisor differs from carrier to carrier (some logistic companies use a divisor of 4000).

Let’s use the same example of a feather pillow package that measures 50cm x 30cm x 30cm. Using the above formula (length x breadth x height / 5000) multiply the three dimensions of the box and divide it by 5000.

(50 x 30 x 30 / 5000) = 9kg.

This gives you a volumetric weight of 9kg. This number is then compared to the dead weight of your parcel.

  • If the actual weight is less than 9kg, the company will charge for 9kg.
  • If the actual weight is more than 9kg, it will use that number for pricing.

Since, in this case, the volumetric weight (9kg) is higher than the actual weight (2kg). The logistics company will charge you for 9kg.

Key differences between Deadweight and Volumetric weight

ecommerce in india

The two main techniques used by couriers to calculate shipment charges are dead weight and volumetric weight. The weight of the shipment, measured in kilograms (kg) or pounds, is known as the actual weight or dead weight.

On the other hand, Volumetric weight, also known as dimensional weight, is a measurement method that uses the length, breadth, and height of a parcel to calculate its entire size. It is measured in kilograms or pounds, just as dead weight.

Volumetric weight = (length x breadth x height) / dimensional factor (DIM divisor).

Each courier sets this dimensional factor, also known as the cubic divisor, differently. As a dimensional factor, most couriers choose 5000 (metric units) or 139 (imperial units).

Therefore, these are some basic differences between Deadweight and Volumetric weight. Now, let’s understand why only volumetric weight is charged by most courier companies.

Why Do Couriers Charge by Volumetric Weight?

Imagine shipping a package full of feather pillows. The weight of the package itself is pretty light. But, It utilizes more space than other small but heavy packages. A delivery truck full of such big packages could quickly fill the capacity with very little actual weight.

Shipping large, light packages would reduce their profits.

Courier companies are always looking to maximize the number of packages on a vehicle while maintaining profitability, so they take this into account and use a pricing structure that will charge accordingly.

As a result, most shipping companies around the world have decided to calculate their shipping prices based on volumetric weight.

For instance, A parcel of feather pillows is light in weight but big in size. It will take up more space than usual packages, thus it will be charged according to its volumetric weight.

Importance of Calculating Accurate Weight and Dimensions

During transportation, the logistic companies will always measure the dimensions and weight of each parcel. This is a fully automated procedure that employs extremely precise laser measurements.

Therefore, If there is a discrepancy between what they measure and what you reported, you may be charged an additional fee based on the fluctuating shipping prices.

You will be charged to make up the difference if the parcel is larger/heavier than stated. This also applies in the opposite direction; if the parcel is smaller/lighter than stated, you will receive a partial refund.



So, wasn’t it easy? We are confident that the terms Volumetric weight and Deadweight won’t be that confusing to you anymore. Hope this blog could give you a better understanding of both the weights and answer all your questions related to the topic.

Although courier partners charge a lot for the shipment process, you can ship your products at affordable prices with Parceldeck. In addition, If you face problems with weight discrepancies, visit Parceldeck’s other blog on the respective topic.

Weight disputes are one of the most common discomforts in the eCommerce sector. As a seller, you might get surprised to see the inaccurate shipment weight calculation. 

Many new suppliers struggle with weight discrepancies. They are often charged extra for their packages. If you’re one of them, don’t worry; in this blog, we’ll help you understand what weight discrepancies are and how to reduce them.

Let’s start with the basics of weight discrepancies.

What is Weight Discrepancy? 

Weight Discrepancy

Generally, When sending parcels with courier services, weight disparity is a problem. Weight discrepancy is a disagreement between a ‘seller’ and a ‘courier company’ over the package’s reported weight. 

It usually arises when the courier company disagrees with the seller’s provided order weight. 

For example, During shipment, the seller claimed the weight of the package was 3 kg but when the courier company calculated the parcel it was 3.5 kg. Therefore, due to the different weight measurements, there will be a dispute between the shipping company and the seller. 

And this weight can lead to changes in the total amount of the parcel while delivered. Thus, if the weight of the parcel turns out to be more than you calculated, you will have to pay more. 

Now that we know the basics, let’s understand how to reduce such weight discrepancies.

7 effective ways to reduce Weight Discrepancy:

Weight discrepancy can be burdensome for any company. So, here are some measures that can help you reduce weight disputes caused by weight discrepancies:

  • Improve Packaging system:

Weight Discrepancy

The first step is to reduce the package fill. Do not unnecessarily stuff the boxes with bubble wraps and other packaging materials. Use it according to the product. 

Select the most appropriate carton sizes and pack products with only the materials required to properly dispatch the product. Do not over package any product as it may lead to increasing the weight of your package. 

  • Correct Volumetric Weight Measurement:

To reduce weight discrepancy the second thing you need to do is to measure the volumetric weight measurements carefully and correctly.   

The volumetric weight of a product is calculated by dividing the product of its length, width, and height by 5000. (This divisor of 5000 can vary from company to company). All the measurements should be in cm.

To determine the actual weight of a product, the seller must measure its length, breadth, and height after packaging and divide it by 5000.

For example, If the gross weight of your product is 1 kg and you used a lot of packaging material and the shipment’s length, width, and height come out to be 30 x 30 x 30, the volumetric weight will be 5.4kg, which is a lot more. 

This is why, to prevent paying extra costs, you must double-check that your packaging matches the product. 

3) Maintain a record of Product Image:

The image serves as the best proof for any weight disputes. Before sending goods to a shipping aggregator, a seller should always have a proper image record of it.  

The image is proof in the event of a dispute. You can take images while measuring the package’s dimensions. You may also make a video of it. Make sure you take 3 to 4 photographs from every dimension so that images are clear to understand. 

Take a photograph of the length, width, and height of a package separately to avoid any confusion with Weight Discrepancy.

This is necessary to do so because when the company raises a dispute they ask for images as proof. So, if you have the measurement images in hand, it will help you resolve disputes easily. 

4) Map Packaging with SKUs (Stock Keeping Unit):

A key strategy for reducing weight discrepancies is to map packaging material with product SKUs. A unique code that a seller gives to each type of goods it sells is known as an SKU.

SKUs are also an important aspect of a marketing strategy since they allow merchants to manage inventory in their stores or warehouses by SKUs.

For example, If your product weighs 800 grams and is supplied in a specific box, you can attach the SKU with that box, this means you can give a unique code to that box. So, whenever a new order comes for that product you can package the product with the same box.

This way the volumetric weight of each box remains the same and you won’t have to recalculate the weight of each box again. This will assist you in having a smooth shipping experience.

5) Use a correct shipping partner while outsourcing:

ecommerce in india

For smooth operation, It’s necessary to choose a reliable shipping partner, so that they do not cheat you with unnecessary weight discrepancy disputes. 

A logistics aggregator assists a seller in keeping track of all weight discrepancies and taking action in a timely manner. Parceldeck is one of the most reliable shipping aggregators that enables you to ship across 27000+ pin codes with 25+ courier partners. 

Parceldeck provides you with a platform to identify discrepancies and take action on them within seven days. 

6) Measuring unusual packages with an automated system:

Unusual packages are one of the most common causes of weight discrepancies. A bottle and Tubes, for example, must be weighed in cubic measurements. 

But if you simply calculate the cubic measurements it won’t be effective, that is why we need a dimensioning system to determine the weight perfectly. Therefore, when we automate this process, the weight of the package will be reduced. 

7) Keep track of your overall monthly shipping costs:

Regularly review your carrier bills to confirm that shipping prices are correct and that you’re measuring the correct Weight Discrepancy. 

You’ll have a greater chance of resolving a shipping charge dispute if you take the time to measure products before shipment and record the information. 



And that’s it, these are some simple suggestions and strategies for reducing weight discrepancies. Easy right?  We’re sure that after reading these pointers, you’ll think to yourself, “We could have done that before.” But do not worry, you can still make these minor adjustments to avoid weight disparities and ensure a seamless shipment for Weight Discrepancy.

Weight discrepancies are not a huge issue; they can be reduced with some simple and easy methods. All you have to do is to look out for ways and work efficiently. Now that you have all these pointers, you can work on your business and help it grow without any hindrances. 

For more such informative content you can always check out our blogs on Marketing and eCommerce at Parceldeck’s website.