Packaging FAQs

Packaging FAQs
Small Business Center menu Created with Sketch.
SBC home

Connect to our network of small business peers and experts. They understand the big challenges that you face every day. Get ideas and insights on services and tools that can help your business thrive. 

To simplify your search for help, this page contains links to FedEx and external resources and is updated reguarly. Information and resources cover everything from financial relief to operational assistance. 

Tech Chat

What platform do you use? Which tools help your business be more efficient? Get answers to these questions and more  directly from other small businesses facing the same challenges and opportunities as you.

E-Commerce Center

From small to large, e-commerce businesses share a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Visit the E-Commerce Center to get resources to help you ship online orders, surpass customer expectations and grow your business.

Grant contest

Now in it's 8th year, the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest awards more than $250,000 annually to twelve small businesses. Learn more about the contest and prepare your business for entry. 


We meet a lot of entrepreneurs on their business journey and have great conversations about what it's really like running a small business. The Making It Work podcast lets you be a fly on the wall while a team of savvy entrepreneurs share techniques and best practices with our small business support team.

Evaluate your packaging to ensure that you are using the appropriate-sized boxes for your product. You can also explore other options beyond corrugated boxes. For example, using padded or poly mailers may suit your needs and decrease unnecessary dim weight.

We have tips, guides, videos, and supplies to help you pack like a pro. Just visit our packaging page to learn more. You can also ask our pros for assistance with packaging design and testing, including guidance on printing your own shipping labels.

The pros at the state-of-the-art FedEx Package Testing and Design Lab offer free package testing, design, and engineering information services for a wide variety of products. Plus, your business benefits from the dedicated support of our nationwide team of field packaging engineers.

We offer package testing and design for:

  • Parcel
  • Air freight
  • Less-than-truckload (LTL) freight

Yes. If being a packaging expert isn’t your thing, you don’t have supplies on hand, or you’re pressed for time, you can let a team member at your local FedEx Office pack and send your shipment for you.

Dim weight reflects package density, which is the amount of space a package occupies in relation to its actual weight. All FedEx Express and FedEx Ground shipments within the U.S., U.S. import-rated international shipments, and U.S. export shipments are subject to dim weight rating.

Billable weight is the weight used to calculate your rate. For domestic and international services, the billable weight will either be the dim weight or the actual weight of your package (whichever number is greater). Calculations of dim weight are subject to change without notice. See the FedEx Service Guide for more details on dim weight.

Dim weight is calculated based on the length, height, and width of the package. The dim weight becomes the billable weight when the dim weight of your package exceeds its actual weight.

Follow these easy steps to calculate dim weight:

1.   Calculate the cubic size of your package in inches. Round each measurement of your package to the nearest whole inch. Multiply the length by width by height of your package. The resulting total is the cubic size of your package. 

2.   Determine actual weight. Use any standard scale to determine the actual weight of your package. Increase any fraction to the next whole pound.

3.   Determine dim weight. Divide the cubic size of your package in inches by 139. Increase any fraction to the next whole pound. 

4.   Determine billable weight. Compare the package's actual weight to its dim weight. The larger of the two weights is the billable weight and should be used to calculate the rate.

5.   For multiple-package shipments, total the billable weight of all packages in the shipment.

Recent e-commerce shipping trends have led to a decrease in package density. The average package weight compared to its exterior dimensions is declining, which is inefficient and costly for small businesses. Dim weight pricing methods will encourage businesses everywhere to optimize their packaging practices.

Packing properly may boost your bottom line. Many businesses use a few standard box sizes for all shipments without realizing the impact of dim weight on their shipping costs. FedEx can help you analyze your typical shipments and determine the right variety of box sizes necessary to protect your products without wasted dim weight. 

There are a number of reasons why the rates on your invoice may be different from your rate quotes. For example, the service type or the amount of information entered may differ. Another possible answer is that the package dimensions were not included in the estimate, but the package dimensions do affect the actual shipping cost.

For offline devices like FedEx Ship Manager® Server and FedEx Ship Manager® Software, the most common answer is that the automation device has not downloaded the most recent rate file.

For online devices like FedEx Web Services and, it’s possible that the entered order weight was different from the actual. For further clarification please contact Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339.

For a more accurate rate quote on your automation solution, ensure that you have entered your package dimensions. If you are using a FedEx® Compatible provider for your integration, please contact the provider directly. If you are not using a Compatible provider, you may contact your internal IT development team or contact Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339.


For more information on FedEx rates, visit our shipping rates page.