Help with shipping terms

Actual Weight
Actual Weight is the weight of an item as measured on a set of scales.

Volumetric Weight
The cost of a shipment sent by air can be affected by the amount of space that it occupies, rather than the Actual Weight. Volumetric Weight, sometimes referred to as dimensional weight, is a measure used by couriers like DHL and UPS to set the price of shipping items which are large in volume but relatively light in weight, for example, a feather pillow. In a case like this, Volumetric Weight is what determines the price of the shipping service. Volumetric Weight is calculated differently by service. DHL calculate it by taking the volume (height*length*width) of a parcel and dividing it by 5000. DHL provide an online tool for calculating Volumetric Weight:

Chargeable Weight
The Chargeable Weight is the higher of the Actual Weight and the Volumetric Weight. As an example, if the Actual Weight of a shipment is 4kg and the Volumetric Weight is 6kg then the Volumetric Weight of 6kg is the Chargeable Weight and is what is used to calculate the price. If the Actual Weight is 4kg but the Volumetric Weight is 2kg then the Chargeable Weight is 4kg and that is what is used to calculate the price.

Available Weight
Available Weight tells you how much more you could ship in your parcel before moving to a higher price band and so paying more. As an example, a courier might have a single price for all shipments from 1kg to 10kg and then another price from 10kg to 20kg. In this case a Chargeable Weight of 6kg it would mean there is another 4kg of Available Weight. This is basically free space in the shipment and so the less Available Weight there is in the shipment the better value you are achieving from the service.

Multi-piece Shipments and Consolidation
A multi-piece shipment is a single shipment that consists of multiple physical boxes going to the same address. Only some couriers, such as DHL and TNT, support multi-piece shipments. forward2me provides free consolidation which means multiple orders can arrive from different UK retailers and be consolidated into a single multi-piece shipment. Note this does not involve combining and repacking into one physical box. When selecting multiple packages together with “Get Prices” a list of couriers which support multi-piece shipments will be presented. forward2me does not support more than 15 pieces in a multi-piece shipment.

Combine and Repack
A service where we open all your packages and repack your goods into fewer, smaller packages. Where the Chargeable Weight has been determined by the Volumetric Weight it is a good idea to combine and repack your items into fewer packages to reduce costs and eliminate the risk of individual boxes going missing. We provide information to assist you in making this decision. Some services – e.g. DPD - do not charge for volume which makes them very cost effective for bulky items but they require everything to be in a single box. Combining and repacking is required before shipping multiple items with such a service.

Customer Rating
The customer rating field shows a feedback rating from other forward2me customers who have used that courier service. If there is enough data we show how other customers from your country have rated that service. If there is not enough data we show the feedback from all customers, globally, for the service. If a courier service is relatively new or unpopular and we don’t have enough data to show an accurate picture then we state “Not enough data”. Please note that the ratings shown are provided by the independent review service Feefo; forward2me is unable to edit or influence this data in any way.

Remote Area Charge
Depending upon the delivery location and courier coverage in the country different couriers may determine it to be in a remote area (e.g. an island). Remote area charges can significantly increase shipment costs and so we try to highlight where they have been applied. In the event remote area charges have been applied we recommend looking carefully at the different courier options to identify the best service for your needs.

Transit Time
This is the approximate number of business days the courier estimates it will take for a shipment to reach its destination address. Business days exclude Saturday, Sunday and public holidays in the UK and the destination country. Together with the transit time we also try to give an indication of whether a road or air service is used. Generally speaking air services are better for smaller packages.

All of our couriers provide door-to-door tracking services. This typically involves a web address where it is possible to follow the progress of a given shipment. Where tracking is available forward2me issues a tracking number once the shipment has been collected by the courier. The exception to this is the Untracked Budget service which uses the postal network rather than couriers. Tracking is not available for this service.

Protect+ is a guarantee from forward2me that covers the full value of your goods in case they are lost or damaged in transit and is available as an optional extra. It is not available when using the Untracked Budget service since we are unable to track your goods once they have been shipped. forward2me strongly recommends buying Protect+ on all shipments.

Girth is used by DPD and UPS to measure all the way around a package and is typically used as a limit on the size. E.g. maximum supported girth of 220 cm. The girth of a package is 2 x (height+width). Girth is most easily imagined as a piece of string around the two shortest sides of a parcel. forward2me does not use the girth measurement but we may receive messages from external courier systems regarding girth.

Combined Dimensions
Combined dimensions is used by some couriers including DPD. Combined dimensions is measured as (2 x height) + (2 x width) + longest side. forward2me does not use combined weight but it may be shown in messages from external courier systems.