How to Measure a Box for Shipping

How to Measure a Box for Shipping – Dimensions & Instructions

How to Measure a Box for Shipping – Getting packages ready for shipping can be a confusing process the first time you need to do it – especially if you’re a brand new business fulfilling your very first order!

Don’t worry, ‘how to measure a box,’ is not a silly question. Knowing exactly how to measure a box is vital for shipping because carriers and freight companies will either charge by the dimensional weight (volume) or the actual weight of a package; so you might be asked about the dimensions, volume, or girth of your package. Knowing these numbers may help you secure better shipping rates or figure out what kind of shipping best benefits your business. Measure a Box for Shipping see the below steps;

How to measure a box

There are a few different ways to measure a box size. The most common way is to use a ruler or a tape measure. To measure the length of a box, start at the top of the box and measure down to the bottom. To measure the width of a box, start at one side of the box and measure across to the other side. To measure the height of a box, start at the bottom of the box and measure up to the top.

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When measuring the outside dimensions of your box you will need to measure the lengthwidth and height (L x W x H). This is the industry standard order the measurements should be listed in.

How to measure dimensions of a box:

  • The first dimension to measure is length. This will be the longest side of the box that has a flap.
  • Next is the width. The width side also has a flap, but will be shorter than the length. Turn the box 90 degrees to measure the width.
  • Lastly is the height of the package. Height is the only dimension without a flap. Close the flaps of the box and measure the height from top top bottom.

How to calculate the volume of a box

To calculate the volume of a box, you need to know the length, width, and height of the box. The volume of a box is calculated by multiplying the length by the width by the height.

To calculate the volume of your package for shipping, you will need to times the length by the width by the height.

L x W x H = Volume. For example;

  • L = 16in
  • W = 12in
  • H = 8in


16 x 12 x 8 = 1,536 cubic inches (cu).

How to measure girth of a box

The girth of a box can be measured by using a tape measure. Place the tape measure around the outside of the box, making sure to include the thickness of the box walls in the measurement.

To find the girth you will need to measure the width and the height and times by two.

Girth = 2(W + H)

If we use the example from above, we would multiply the width (12 inches) by 2. This would give us 24. Then we take the height (8 inches) and also multiply by 2. This would give us 16.

We then add the results together to get the girth.

  • 24in + 16in = 40in.

How to keep shipping costs low

There are a few ways to keep shipping costs low. The first is to use a service like USPS or UPS that offers discounts for shipping large orders. Another way is to ship your products in bulk to a fulfillment center like Amazon. Finally, you can use a shipping software like Shipstation to get discounts on shipping rates.

  • Make sure you are using the right box for your product. If you’re using a large box for a small or lightweight product, you will pay more because of the space the package takes up. A large box leads to a large dimensional weight which will mean a more expensive shipping cost.
  • You can reduce the cost of your shipping by re-using old boxes.
  • Check if your ecommerce platform provides any discounted shipping rates.

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