How to Measure Boxes for Shipping: Ensuring Right Size to Prevent Top-Ups

Cover Image for How to Measure Boxes for Shipping: Ensuring Right Size to Prevent Top-Ups

Have you ever faced unexpected top-ups when shipping internationally? Often, this issue stems from not knowing how to measure a box for shipping. Precise box measurement is crucial in avoiding unnecessary top-ups.

In this guide, we'll show you how to measure box dimensions for shipping accurately, helping you avoid these unexpected additional charges.

1. Why Accurate Measurements Matter

It's a common misconception that shipping costs depend solely on weight. However, two boxes of the same weight can incur different costs due to their dimensions.

This is because most couriers determine shipping fees based on two types of weight measurements:

  • the actual weight of the box
  • volumetric weight, which is calculated based on the box's dimensions, using the formula: (length x width x height)/5000
how to calculate volumetric weight

How to calculate volumetric weight

Shipping fees are based on whichever weight is higher.

Thus, a larger, lighter box might cost more than a smaller, heavier one. Learning how to measure box size for shipping accurately can prevent these cost discrepancies.

2. How to Measure Shipping Boxes Accurately?

Length, Width, Height

The length, width, and height of a box directly influence its volumetric weight, a key factor in determining shipping costs.

Accurately measuring these dimensions ensures you're not undercharged or overcharged due to incorrect size estimations.

Where to measure length, width, and height

Where to measure length, width, and height

  • Length: Measure the longest side of the box. Extend your tape measure from one end to the other, ensuring it’s straight.
  • Width: Measure the width by placing the tape measure along the side adjacent to the length. Keep it straight for an accurate measurement.
  • Height: Measure the height from the top to the bottom of the box. Ensure the box is closed before measuring.

Measuring Parcels with Irregular Shapes & Bulges?

This can be tricky. For boxes that aren’t perfect rectangles or squares, measure the longest points in each dimension – length, width, and height.

Use a flat surface, such as cardboard, to provide a levelled base for measurement. This helps in covering the maximum space the box could occupy.

Techniques for measuring boxes with irregular shapes & bulges

Techniques for measuring boxes with irregular shapes & bulges

Be attentive to any bulges when measuring your box to ensure you’re not underestimating its size. This is because a 1 cm deviation could move your parcel into the next 0.5 kg of chargeable weight and accordingly, the next price bracket.

In conclusion, accurate box measurement is an essential skill that can significantly impact the cost-effectiveness of your shipping experience.

At JustShip, we're not just committed to transporting your parcels; we're dedicated to ensuring that every aspect of shipping is streamlined and transparent.

We understand that mistakes can happen, especially when measuring for shipping, and we are here to support you.

If you happen to overdeclare the dimensions of your box, don't worry - JustShip will refund the charges for those overdeclared dimensions.

This policy reflects our commitment to customer satisfaction, ensuring you only pay what’s fair and necessary.

​​In addition to that, we also provide professional packing services. These services are designed to help you reduce the volumetric weight of your parcel as much as possible through customised packing, thereby lowering your shipping costs.

Ready to ship with confidence? Sign up and book your shipment today, and let us help you make your next shipment a breeze.

February 5, 2024

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