Many drop shipping beginners have encountered a situation where they thought everything would go as expected when they just have got dozens of new orders. But shockingly, the shipping price was too high and exceeded the budget, which ended up losing money.

Such problem is common among those dropshipping through AliExpress. Sometimes, a very light product may have a ridiculously high shipping price, causing poor dropshipping margins.

So what happened? Did the supplier or shipping company secretly increase the weight and volume of the product to get more shipping profit?

Actually no. The shipping price is usually calculated according to the actual product weight. But for some irregular or large products, the shipping price will be calculated according to the Volumetric Weight. That's why the shipping price can be doubled. And dropshippers have to pay more for shipping reluctantly to ensure on-time delivery.

Don’t worry. In this article, we will tell you how to calculate and control shipping prices when dropshipping from China to avoid unnecessary losses.

How to Calculate shipping prices When Dropshipping From China?

Choose the Right Shipping Method According to Product Attributes.

If you've ever seen a table of shipping rates, you've probably been overwhelmed by the countless countries with multiple shipping method. Simply speaking, there are the following shipping method:

General cargo dedicated method: general products.

Special cargo dedicated method: electronic products.

Other rare compliance method: some pure electricity (batteries), pastes, liquids, knives, and other sensitive products.

Some people can dropship these products smoothly, while others do not have proper shipping method that can ship their products even if the product has been ordered. Therefore, when choosing a supplier, make sure that it provides sufficient shipping options to ship your products.

Calculate shipping prices with International Logistics Formulas.

International shipping price = Fixed Fee + Weight × Shipping Rate

Weight: Actual weight or Volumetric weight

Volumetric Weight (kg) = Length(cm) × Width(cm) × Height(cm) / Volumetric Parameter

Volumetric Parameter: Different shipping methods may have different volumetric parameters. Moreover, shipping companies often adjust the parameter according to the cargo volume, so the shipping price will change frequently, especially in the case of the supply chain crisis and COVID-19 pandemic.

Most shipping companies calculate the shipping prices both by the actual weight and the volumetric weight. And the higher one will be used.

For example, the actual weight of a product is 0.3Kg, the package size is 25cm*22cm*28cm, the destination country is France, and the volumetric parameter is 8000, shipping by the general cargo dedicated method.


When the shipping price of this product is calculated according to the actual weight, it is 0.3Kg, between 0.001-0.4Kg weight segment. Then the shipping price is

$4+0.3Kg * $9/Kg=$6.7.

The volumetric weight of the product is 25cm×22cm×28cm / 8000cm³/Kg=1.925Kg, which fits 0.401-2.0Kg weight segment. Then the shipping price is

$4.5+1.925Kg * $10/Kg=$23.75

In this case, volumetric weight is higher than the actual weight, the shipping company will use the volumetric weight to calculate the shipping price which is about 4 times the shipping price based on the actual weight.

Therefore, you should consider the volumetric weight of the product after packaging when you calculate the shipping prices. In addition, if the product is in a peculiar shape, such as a triangle, a cylinder, or the surface is not flat, or if the packaging material is special like a metal or plastic shell, some shipping companies may charge additional processing fees.

How to Avoid Product Being Charged by Volumetric Weight?

Most dropshippers obtain the weight data of the product directly from AliExpress suppliers or distributors. There are generally some differences in the weight calculated by different suppliers, and the volume may vary greatly due to different packaging. The following ways may help you minimize the shipping prices.

Change the Shipping Method or Compress the Product Volume

For products that have a large ratio of volumetric weight to actual weight, and do not have high requirements for shipping efficiency, you can ship them through shipping methods that only calculate shipping prices by actual weight.

For products with a small ratio of volumetric weight to actual weight, it is also a good idea to compress the product volume as much as possible when packaging. For example, dog mattresses are not easy to be damaged after compression. But not all products are suitable for vacuum compression, like hollow plastic products.

For those products the shipping price must be calculated according to the volumetric weight, you can appropriately increase the prices of the products to ensure sufficient profit margins. After all, earning money is the ultimate goal.

Work with A Professional Dropshipping Agent

Those who dropshipping from AliExpress or private agents have little control over the product packaging and have limited shipping options. It is recommended to work with a reliable dropshipping agent with a professional platform since it has the following advantages compared with Aliexpress suppliers and private dropshipping agents.

A professional dropshipping platform works with multiple mainstream shipping companies, which have enough preferential shipping methods available to ship a variety of legal categories. All the shipping statuses can be real-time tracked.

Most of the dropshipping agents have self-developed systems. It can directly integrate with your dropshipping store to automatically process product information and orders. It can greatly improve work efficiency.

Dropshipping agent platforms have their own warehouses and allow packaging customization. At the same time, they have more experience to effectively control the volume of the product packaging and choose the most suitable shipping method to avoid unnecessary shipping prices charged by volumetric weight.

Some platforms provide free warehousing services for a long time. When your business is growing, you can purchase enough product inventory in advance and store them in their free warehouse to avoid the interruption of product supply. It can effectively reduce the product cost and shorten the order processing time. It is also conducive to the stable development of your dropshipping business.

When a customer buys different products from different suppliers, a professional dropshipping agent allows you to combine all the products into one package by merging the order, instead of receiving a variety of scattered packages like when purchasing from AliExpress. Consolidated, unified packages can save on shipping prices while also enhancing the customer shopping experience.

If you are experiencing poor profit margins caused by problems such as high shipping prices, you can chat with our team directly. We would be glad to help you as a professional and reliable dropshipping agent.

FAQs

What is volumetric weight?

Volumetric weight is also known as dimensional weight. It is a shape based pricing technique that is commonly used by air freight forwarders, trunk carriers, as well as all commercial airlines worldwide.

What is volumetric weight vs actual weight?

The actual weight is the weight of the product displayed on the scale, and the volumetric weight is the equivalent weight calculated according to how much space the product occupies.

Why is volumetric weight important?

When a large box of goods takes up a lot of space but does not fill up the vehicle capacity, making it an inefficient use of space, the volumetric weight is usually used to calculate the shipping cost, which is beneficial for shippers of dense cargo.
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