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Dimensioning is the process of measuring the cubic space that a package or object occupies. It is the method of calculating dimensional weight for the storage, handling, transporting and invoicing of goods. Vehicles and storage units have both volume and weight capacity limits and can easily become full in terms of volume before they reach their capacity in weight. By dimensioning objects, parcels and pallets, shipping companies and warehouses can make optimal use of space and charge for services accordingly.

The background behind dimensioning[edit]

In 1985 a Norwegian company called Cargoscan, which officially became part of the Mettler Toledo group in 2000, began supplying dimensioners and data capture solutions to transport and logistics companies around the world. The aim was to provide the industry with a system for revenue recovery and protection. It seemed that if carriers were to take both weight and volume into consideration when invoicing, they could charge customers more fairly according to services provided and make better use of resources.[1] 0

In transport and logistics[edit]

Shipping costs have historically been calculated based on weight alone. By charging only by weight, lightweight, low density packages become unprofitable for freight carriers due to the amount of space they take up in trucks/aircraft/ships in proportion to their actual weight.[2] By using dimensioning technology to calculate an item's dimensional weight, carriers are able to charge based on either volume or weight, depending on which is greater.

In the warehousing industry, dimensioning is used to provide an overview of the volume items in stock which can reduce the costs of materials, return handling, shipping and manpower.

The main reasons that companies choose to invest in automated dimensioning systems include revenue recovery, increased throughput, reduced returns and quality control.[3]

Dimensioning Systems are not only used by the biggest companies in the industry such as DHL, UPS, FedEx and TNT but also by postal companies, shipping retailers, and small handling companies around the world.


  1. ^ [1] Cargoscan - facts about the producer
  2. ^ See Dimensional weight
  3. ^ [2] - Why dimensioning?