How To Estimate The Shipping Costs Of Your Products And Goods

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Estimating the accurate shipping charges of your products can be challenging, especially if you don’t have the tools and means to calculate them. You must know how to estimate your shipping cost to run a successful business.

Shipping charges are likely to affect the prices of your products and your profit margin. Here are a few tips on estimating the shipping costs of your products and goods:


1. Consider The Package Dimensions Weight

The first thing you need to know when calculating the shipping charges for your products is your package’s dimensional weight (DIM Weight). However, you must understand how to differentiate between the DIM weight, the billable weight, and the package’s actual weight. 

To determine your DIM weight, multiply the length of the package, the width, and the height in inches. The result gives you the cubical size. The next step is to divide the results by the DIM divisor, which is 166 or 139 for most carriers unless you agree on a different factor. 

You can also use a shipping weight calculator to calculate your package’s dimensional weight. To do this, you use an electronic device to scan the box to establish the measurements and automatically calculate the dimensional weight. Note that the amount you pay for your package will depend on your package size, so you should ensure you choose the right package for your products. 


2. Calculate The Actual Weight Of The Package 

As mentioned, the package’s actual weight and the dimensional weight differ. Most suppliers will indicate the actual, dimensional, and billable weight on the invoice. To know the shipping costs of the products, you must know the actual weight. 

The amount you pay for your package is the billable weight. If the actual weight is heavier than the dimensional weight, then the shipping cost is based on the actual weight and vice versa. You can, however, reduce the billable amount by negotiating for a lower DIM factor and using lighter packaging.


3. Beware Of The Surcharges

Surcharges are the additional payments you have to pay for your shipments. Include a reasonable surcharge in your transactions because some are unavoidable and non-negotiable. The most common surcharges you’re likely to incur include the following:

  • Delivery Area Surcharge (DAS): These charges cover the extra amount the carrier incurs when delivering products outside their area of delivery. You’ll likely pay additional delivery charges if your business is in a remote location. 
  • Fuel surcharges: Most carriers may add fuel charges on top of the standard fuel rate. They’re a percentage of the average fuel rate, but some carriers may add them as a flat fee. 
  • Peak surcharge: Delivery or peak surcharges are the extra amounts you pay for extra time spent on delivery, labor, effort, and additional infrastructure required to maintain the high product volumes. 

Surcharges are critical factors that affect the amount your pay for shipping your products. You should, therefore, ensure you include them in your calculations when estimating the shipping costs of your products and goods. 


4. Add The Shipping Insurance

It’s essential to insure your shipment, especially when shipping expensive products. Even if you choose a reputable carrier, there’s still a likelihood that the shipment might get lost or damaged.

Shipping insurance will ensure the safety of your products and goods. It’ll cover them if they’re damaged, lost, or stolen during the shipment. It’s better to pay a small sum—which may be 3% of the shipment value—to cover your products than to lose the entire amount. 


5. Consider the Delivery Time

Some carriers provide fast deliveries and multiple fulfillment centers. You may incur more charges if you want your products delivered quickly. Therefore, when picking your delivery service, consider the vulnerability and urgency of your products. If they’re not that urgent or vulnerable, there will be no need to pay extra, saving you money. 


6. Remember The Shipping Duties And Taxes

Another factor you must consider when estimating the shipping costs for your products and goods is the shipping taxes you must pay when shipping internationally. Taxes depend on the type and value of your shipment and are likely to add to your shipping expenses. Therefore, you must add them to your shipping costs calculation. 



Estimating the shipping costs of your products and goods is relatively straightforward. You must know the various factors that affect your shipping charges and add them to your calculation. Using shipping weight calculators and other technological solutions fast-tracks the process and make your computations more accurate, enabling you to budget appropriately.