How to Estimate Shipping Costs With a DHL Calculator


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As a brick-and-mortar business owner and especially as an eComm business owner, a large part of your job is to calculate shipping costs and get items to the courier so that they can be delivered to clients. If you are selling a range of different items and you need to use different courier services to reach people in different parts of the country or even different parts of the world, it gets very confusing and it can be very time-consuming. 

As you scale up your operations, you can hire a specialist to manage this part of the process, but when you continue to grow and are dealing with thousands of orders per day, it can start to get extremely expensive to have to do this manually for every order. Luckily, there are many tools available today that can help you not only get an estimate of what delivery will cost but can give you an accurate breakdown of exactly how much it will cost and what the breakdown for the package is. The important thing is to know how these calculators work and how you can get the most from these systems.

Let’s go through some of the main variables that influence the price of a package and how you can use these systems efficiently to get the best price for your delivery.

Vital Information

It is complicated to understand how much it will cost to move a package from one place to another. Even the time of year you are shipping the package can influence the price. Then when you have to compare prices across different vendors, there is more confusion. Let’s go through some of the most basic things you need to know and the most significant factors that influence the price of shipping your package.

Shipping Distance

The first thing a courier service will look at is where the package is being shipped from and where it is headed. Generally, the further away the destination is and the greater the distance, the more expensive it will be to move that item. Couriers usually divide regions into different shipping zones to gauge how much a parcel has to travel. In the USA, for example, there are 9 zones that divide the entire continent. Some zones have different rates while, in other cases, the more zones that the parcel has to go through, the more expensive it will be. Some zones that have a higher shipping cost can be quite expensive, even if you are shipping within the same zone.

Parcel Weight

Your parcel will have a weight. You can weigh this at home on a regular kitchen scale or you can have the courier service weigh it when you take the parcel to their office to have it shipped. Usually, you will get packaging that suits the parcel’s weight, which is what the parcel will be shipped in. However, some parcels can be quite large and have a very low weight or they can be quite small but weigh a lot. This is where it gets tricky because you are now dealing with the packaging dimension weight.

Package Dimensions

The package dimension is the actual size of the box or the bag in which you are sending the goods. This is the length, the width, and the height of the package that is used. Packages come in a large variety of dimensions and each has its own weight limit, which is why you need to be able to easily calculate DHL shipping costs & rates, and, consequently, which package to choose for your product. Often, the charges can be for the volume of the package rather than the weight of the product itself. This is particularly the case when you have large light items that need to be shipped in a bigger package. You end up paying for the price of the package rather than the weight of your goods. If your product can be dismantled and shipped in a smaller package, this will help you save a lot of money in shipping costs.

How to Estimate Shipping Costs With a DHL Calculator

Shipping Time

Depending on the shipping option you choose, delivery can take a few hours to a few weeks. Generally, the fastest shipping solution is overnight delivery, but this is also the most expensive, especially if you have a large or heavy item. Overnight delivery of even a small item can cost a lot of money, but sometimes you can get a great deal if you happen to book at the right time. Sometimes, couriers have a plane heading to a certain place anyway, and when they have unused space on the plane, they will offer very low rates. Figure out how soon you need the delivery to reach the destination and figure out a way that will be most economical to meet that time. If the buyer has a very urgent need, you can ask them to pay extra for the overnight shipping and get them to bear the cost.

Additional Expenses

Other than these factors, some additional expenses can influence the price of having your products shipped. One of the most important things to consider is shipping insurance. This is crucial, especially if you are shipping high-value products. Things can get lost, stolen, or damaged during shipping, and having insurance will help protect your products against these types of damages. Also, look into extra charges that the courier might be applying to your delivery. These often vary from courier to courier since they all have their own unique services. For instance, a certain location might be within reach of one courier but might be beyond their servicing zone for a different courier, so the latter will most likely charge additional billing to cover that region. 

Sometimes, certain products might demand a higher shipping cost because they are sensitive items or need to be transported in a certain way. Also, if the package needs to be delivered a second time because it wasn’t received the first time or you made a mistake with the address and need to correct this moving forward, these are all additional costs that will increase your delivery cost. Be sure to refer to this guide when estimating all possible shipping costs.

Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes a learning specialist, designs and delivers learning initiatives (both in-class and online) for a global and internal audience. He is responsible for the ongoing development, delivery, and maintenance of training. He has the ability to manage competing priorities to execute time-sensitive deliverables within a changing environment. He contributes to continually improving the team's processes and standards and works as a member of the team to assist with team initiatives.


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