One of the most vital steps in the shipping process is measuring your parcel accurately.
Getting the dimensions and weight of your parcel right determines the correct shipping cost and ensures your package is delivered safely. It also helps you avoid any extra charges if the measurements don’t add up with the courier service you’re using.
Thankfully, the steps to measure your parcel are pretty simple. Whether you’re shipping your first package or need a refresher, use this guide to help minimise your shipping costs.
Collect Your Tools
Before you do anything, you should gather all the equipment you need to measure your parcel. Be sure to have the following:
- A ruler, tape measure, or another device that displays numbers clearly so you can measure your parcel's length, width, and height.
- A scale to weigh your parcel. There are several types available. Choose the most appropriate for your needs and ensure it’s calibrated correctly.
- A calculator. Just in case you need to convert any measurements into different formats. You’ll need kilograms for weight and centimetres for width, height and length when you ship with Interparcel.
- Having a pen and paper handy to record your measurements and calculations is always a good idea.
Measure the Dimensions of Your Parcel
Once you have everything you need, it's time to get the dimensions of your parcel. If you are the sender, here are some tips to use when measuring your parcel. If you only book the delivery and don't pack the parcel, please make sure your team is also aware of these details to avoid extra charges.
- Make sure to perform this task after you’ve packed everything and it’s ready for delivery, as the shape can change. Especially if it’s a satchel that isn’t padded appropriately.
If you are using a box, Interparcel recommends a plain double-wall carton box for the best results.
- You should always avoid overfilling any type of package. It ensures the box you are using maintains its original shape and doesn't warp, which can impact the measurements.
- Remember, courier machines generally don’t have any human intervention. So it will always measure the largest dimension of each axis regardless of whether it’s part of the box. Make sure your parcel doesn’t have any loose ends and is not oversealed. As this could result in tape sticking out which will alter the measurements you originally declared!
- Always round up one to two centimetres for your parcel when inputting the dimensions. When your package is placed on the automated conveyor system, it can bump into other boxes and warp the shape. This can affect the original measurements.
- A slight discrepancy can add up and impact the final shipping cost. It can also result in your package being lost, damaged or delayed.
- A pro tip is to place the box against a wall to record the width, length and height. It will give you the most accurate reading.
- Don’t be afraid to double-check your measurements to ensure they add up.
- Take photos of the dimensions you’ve collected before the courier arrives. You can use these if there are any disputes concerning the measurements of the box.
Weigh Your Parcel
Now it’s time to weigh your parcel. There are several methods you can use depending on the scale you have.
If you are using a digital scale, record the weight accurately and round up to the next kilogram. Never round down, as this will affect your shipping rates.
You may need to use a different method for other types of scales. Follow the instructions provided with your device to determine the best technique for weighing your parcel. Getting an accurate reading is vital to ensure you are charged the correct shipping cost.
Calculate the Volumetric Weight
In addition to the actual kilograms of your parcel, your shipping carrier may also calculate the volumetric weight of your box when finalising shipping costs. It is the space that a package occupies in relation to its weight.
To work out the volumetric weight of your parcel, you will need to use this formula.
Multiply the length, width, and height
and then divide the result by the dimensional weight divisor.
You can use this formula to work out the volumetric weight. In some cases, this figure may determine the final shipping cost instead of the parcel's actual dead weight.
Determine the Final Shipping Cost
The easiest step is finalising your shipping cost. You can ship a parcel from our homepage. Choose the locations where the package is coming from and going to. Next, input the dimensions and hit the “Quote Me!” button. You’ll now be able to choose from multiple carriers and filter results by fastest, cheapest and courier company. If it’s your first time using Interparcel, check out this article that has more information on how our service works.
If you have an account, you can use the Interparcel Shipping Manager, our platform to access rates from the country's most extensive range of carriers. Simply add your parcel measurements, the delivery address and the recipient details to get started. Next, browse the service options, choose a courier, and add to the cart. Easy, right?
While you have all your parcel and product dimensions recorded, you should upload them to the Interparcel platform and activate Smart Boxing. That way, next time you need to ship a multi-item order, our algorithm will provide you with the most efficient way to pack it so you can continue to save on delivery costs.
Keep Your Shipping Costs Down
Measuring your parcel accurately is vital. It determines the final shipping cost and ensures your package is delivered safely and on time. By following these steps and double-checking your calculations, you can be confident it will get where it needs to go without any additional fees or surcharges.
When you use Interparcel, you gain access to multiple features like Smart Boxing that help you simplify shipping. The best part is they’re free for everyone to use! What are you waiting for? Create your free account and start using our multicarrier shipping solution today!