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Calculating Weights, Measures, and Value

The unique characteristics of each product you ship will determine how that product is weighed and measured. The destination country will then determine the currency involved. The calculation tools available through FedEx Global Trade Manager can help you to properly calculate these values - an absolute necessity for clearly identifying your shipment for travel.

Units of weight

When you're shipping internationally, small differences in weight can mean huge differences in your shipping rate. That's why you should always weigh your shipments accurately, and never estimate. Overestimating may cost you dearly, while underestimating can result in shipping delays.

But what about differing systems of measurement, such as imperial versus metric? Shipping companies like FedEx tend to use the sender's system of measurement, which the destination country will see on their documents as well. If the receiver needs the weight in their native measurements, FedEx will provide an over-the-phone conversion free of charge when provided with the waybill number.

Units of measure

The destination country will need to know the total quantity of units in the shipment, and also the units of measure in which the product is shipped. Because every product is unique, a variety of units of measure exist, such as:

  • Dozen pairs
  • Gross units
  • Bone dry carton
  • Head
  • Number of rolls

These few of many options represent the breadth of choice available. Choose the unit of measurement best suited to your product and quantity - this will make the customs procedure run more efficiently.

Units of value

When you are exporting worldwide, you could be dealing with close to 180 currencies - a figure in constant flux with world events. From the Canadian Dollar (CAD) to the Zimbabwe Dollar (ZWD) and everything in between, there are a lot of currencies at work in the global market. To keep your global monetary figures accurate, you need to make sure you're converting correctly. The Internet is an invaluable tool in currency conversion. Certain specialty websites provide reliable currency conversion services, and FedEx Global Trade Manager offers online conversion tools to their customers.

Global shipping can mean differences in the systems of weight, measurement and currency. Carefully calculating these values will save you time and money.

The information in the Small Business Center is intended for general information purposes only. You should consult a qualified professional before acting or relying on any of the information published here.

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