How to Measure Your Freight Shipment Properly | GoShip

How to Measure Your Freight Shipment Properly?

Before any carrier (transport company) transports any shipment from one location to another, the exact measurement must be provided. In this post, we will show you why accurate freight measurements are important and how to measure your freight properly.

Importance of Accurate Freight Measurement

It is no secret that the overall cost of your shipment is directly influenced by its dimensions and freight measurements. For this reason, it’s important that you get them right.

You can’t provide inaccurate numbers in your bill of lading and get away with it. This is because every carrier makes shipment inspections before handling, and any discrepancies between the actual and stated shipment information can easily be discovered.

However, most shippers make these costly mistakes due to lack of knowledge on the right way to measure a freight shipment. On the other hand, if they know and follow the simple steps involved in this measurement, they can avoid unpleasant charges and shipment delays.

How to Measure Freight Properly

The key to successfully shipping your freight is stating precise dimensions and weight. For many shippers, this can be a challenging process with many intricacies.

Since your shipment may come in different sizes and packing types like boxes, crates, pallets, and irregularly shaped items, there is a special approach for each item that must be followed.

You have to get the actual and dimensional weight. Additionally, if you are shipping Less Than Truckload (LTL), the item density impacts the freight class. Although it isn’t complicated in practice, you need to acquire relevant knowledge to get the measurements right.

After applying this knowledge, it is advisable that you double-check the measurements to ensure it’s accurate before going ahead to state them in your bill of lading.

Difference Between Actual Weight and Dimensional Weight

The actual weight refers to your shipment’s fully packaged weight when weighed on a reliable shipping scale.

Conversely, the dimensional weight — otherwise known as DIM weight- takes account of the package’s height, width, and length. Dimensional weight is dependent on the volume of your package.

The dimensional weight is obtained by dividing the physical volume of your package (Height (H) × Width (W) × Length (L) in inches) by a divisor. Note that this divisor can vary from carrier to carrier.   

     H × L × W/ Divisor (established by carrier) = Dimensional Weight.     

How to Get The Right Shipment Dimensions

First, there are three key measurements you must take to ensure that you get the exact dimensions for your shipment.: Length, Width, and Height. Below are the steps to take to achieve this.

How to Measure the Shipment’s Length

Measure the longest side of your load and round it up to the closest inch.

How to Measure the Shipment’s Width

Measure the shorter side of your load and round it up to the closest inch.

How to Measure the Shipment’s Height

Measure how tall your load is, starting from the ground or floor to its highest point. Once this is in place, you can round it up to the closest inch.

How to Calculate the Shipment’s Girth

Multiply the width and height of your load by two (2), then add the numbers obtained from the measurements of the length and width to get the girth of your load. In summary, 2 shipment widths (2W) plus two shipment heights (2H) equals to the load girth.

       2W + 2H = Load Girth

How to Calculate the Shipment’s Cubic Size?

To get the load’s cubic size, multiply your load’s length(L) by its height (H) and width (W). Therefore, your shipment’s cubic size is L × H × W.

How to Measure Your Load’s Weight

Ensure that you place the load on a scale the same way it will be transported. This implies that the load must include skids, pallets, straps, wraps, and any other thing that will be added during the loading of the shipment. Excluding any of these will lead to an incorrect or inaccurate measurement.

Furthermore, if discrepancies are discovered between the information stated in the bill of lading and the load itself, there might be surcharges for re-weighing the load. This can also lead to a potential shipment delay.

When Does Your Freight Become Oversize?

Your shipment is classified as “oversize freight” when it is larger than specified dimensions or exceeds dimension cutoffs.

For the height, your shipment has to be below 13 feet 6 inches (162 inches) to be classified as average-sized freight.

Regarding the width, the established dimension cutoff is 8 feet 6 inches (102 inches). Finally, the length cutoff may vary from state to state. Nonetheless, the average length of a shipment is 53 feet (636 inches). If your freight has higher dimensions, it becomes oversize freight.

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