How Much Does a Cardboard Box Weigh? A Simple Answer

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How Much Does a Cardboard Box Weigh

Knowing the weight of the cardboard box is essential to feeling confident about shipment charges. Because based on box weight the transporting companies allocate shipping fees. The dimensional weight of the cardboard boxes is a commercial pricing technique that is used in the freight transfer process. We can get an insight into the box weight by using the dimension weight formula.

To help you cut costs on the shipping process, explore this article and learn how to calculate the dimensional weight of a cardboard box for different units or shipment types.

How Much Does a Cardboard Weigh?

Dimensional weight is carried by the carriers to calculate the package weight based on the box size instead of the actual weight. Most of the carriers used the same rule of weighing cardboard boxes, finding the box's overall dimension, and dividing by the DIM factors. A DIM factor is known as a standard dimensional factor which is set by the carriers that represent cubic inches per unit of the weight. 

Here is the formula: 

 DIM Weight = (Box Length x Box Weight x Box Height) / DIM factor

  • The length(L), width(W), and height/depth(H) can be measured from the box. 
  • The Dim factors/divisor shows the cubic inches per pound. 

Let see what is the DIM divisor and how it varies from the shipment type. The Shipment type is based on the center location and its movement to domestic or international. For example, carriers decided 166 DIM divisors for US domestic shipments and 139 for US to international shipments. Also, different carriers offer discounts on their first shipment and decide their DIM divisor according to the box. By using the above formula you can calculate the DIM weight of the parcel to decide your shipping cost. 

Now let's take a look at the different units and formulas to calculate the weight for each unit based on their shipment type.

Shipment Type


DIM Factors



US domestic shipments




L x W x H / 166

US to international shipments


L x W x H / 139

US domestic shipments



6,000 cm3/kg

L (cm) x W (cm) x H (cm) / 6000

US to international shipments

5,000 cm3/kg

L (cm) x W (cm) x H (cm) / 5000

Table: Formulas to calculate the weight for each unit

How Much Does a Cardboard Weigh in Pounds? 

Calculating the weights of the box in units of pounds is quite easy as per the table instructions given above. Let's consider a cardboard corrugated box for shipping with the dimensions of 12 length, 13 width, and 11 height. If you want to ship your box in the US domestically, the carriers will calculate your shipping fee (DIM weight) according to the 166 DIM factors. Let see how:

DIM weight = L x W x H / 166

DIM weight = 12 x 13 x 11 / 166

DIM weight = 10.34

So, the round figure of this DIM weight to the nearest whole number is 11 pounds. 

How Much Does a Cardboard Weigh in Ounces? 

If you are looking to convert your pounds weight into ounces, the best way is to multiply the derived weight by 16. 

Like in the above example, we get the DIM weight is 10.34.

Weight in Ounces = 10.34 pounds x 16

Weigh in Ounces = 165.44 oz

The above example helps you to find the DIM weight of your shipping box in oz. 

How Much Does a Cardboard Weigh in Kilogram (KG)? 

Evaluate the weight of your carton in kilograms (KG) to make your shipping fee from the above table. Let's understand this example with the same dimensions. For this, we have to convert the given inches dimension into centimeters. This will help to calculate the volume in cubic centimeters. 

To convert the length, width, and height into inches, just multiply these by 2.54 cm.

L (cm) = 12 x 2.54 cm = 30.48 cm 

W (cm) = 13 x 2.54 cm = 33.02 cm 

H (cm) = 11 x 2.54 cm = 27.94 cm 

DIM Weight = L (cm) x W (cm) x H (cm) / 6000 cm3/KG

DIM Weight =30.48 cm x 33.02 cm x 27.94 cm / 6000 cm3/KG

DIM Weight = 28120.20 cm3 / 6000 cm3/KG

DIM Weight = 4.6867 KG

How Much Does a Cardboard Weigh in Grams? 

To calculate the cardboard weight in grams multiply the mass value of kilograms by 1000. Let’s see how you can convert the kilograms into grams. 

DIM Weight = 4.6867 KG x 1000

DIM Weight = 4686.7 grams

So, if you want to calculate your container weight into any unit, you can calculate it to identify your shipping price. These examples can be found helpful. 

Dimensional Weight of the Carton and Freight Rates

To avoid negative shipping fees, focus on the right size of the cardboard box because weight affects freight rates. For example, if you want to ship a metal ball. In this case, the box size is small but heavy. So the fee shipping is not calculated based on the dimensional weight but on the actual weight. 

This sounds frustrating, but this is the right way to calculate the best profit margin for carriers. By using these tips, you can reduce the impact of the dimensional weight pricing for your business: 

  • In most situations, flat shipping rates do not charge you dimensions, weights, or distance as long as it fits into the designated box. 
  • Focus on the right side of the box and the fragility of your product to avoid addiction costs. 
  • Do your research on the shipping companies to reduce the negative impact of the rates and find the best carriers.


With the right array of your cardboard boxes, you can easily calculate your DIM weight if you are looking to ship based on different units. And why these weights are crucial for shipping fees. From different units to different shipment types, you will find a formula to evaluate DIM weight in this article. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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