1) Introduction to DHL
DHL is a world-renowned logistics company offering global solutions for express mail, package, courier, and freight services. Not many know that DHL is a German firm christened Deutsche Post.
It was founded in San Francisco by Dalsey, Hillblom, and Lynn in 1969. DHL has made its mark worldwide for its international standards of quality and excellence in delivering over a billion parcels each year.
2) What is the DHL Shipping Calculator?
DHL’s shipping calculator is an effective software solution embedded in their webpage. It calculates the shipping cost of parcels and documents based on certain variables. The DHL rate calculator accurately estimates shipping charges and the estimated delivery dates and times.
It is easy to find the DHL calculator on their website. You can open the company's homepage and proceed to the “Ship” menu in the upper left corner. Therein, you can find the “Get the Quote” option, which is DHL’s shipping calculator.
The shipping calculator has a clean and user-friendly interface to obtain the shipping cost for personal and business uses. The calculator gives a price after determining the origin and destination, parcel dimension, package type, and any extra services you require.
The DHL shipping calculator is a handy tool, especially for eCommerce business owners.
3) How to proceed with the DHL Shipping Calculator?
The DHL cost calculator has several steps. Each of them requires certain information. We have provided below a detailed step-wise proceeding for calculating shipping cost.
3.1) Determine your persona
The shipping calculator has two modes, first for personal shipping and second for business shipping. The interface of the calculator works the same way for both.
However, you must create a business account if you are an eCommerce retailer with a dedicated monthly shipping volume. A business account will enable you to avail of services based on your negotiated contract with DHL.
3.2) Shipping Addresses
The first step is to provide the country, city, and zip code details for the shipping origin and destination location. DHL supports domestic shipping within the U.S. and international shipping with 220 countries.
The address you provide determines the shipping zone your parcel will travel to, and you will receive a quote accordingly. Furthermore, you can inform DHL if your delivery location is a residential address.
3.3) Shipment Details
This is the crucial next step after filling in your addresses. There are two ways you can input the shipment information.
First, you can evaluate the weight and dimensions, i.e., length, width, and height in inches. The weight is always measured in pounds (lbs).
Second, if you are confused about the dimensions, you can choose the most appropriate packaging option that the calculator displays. It has multiple options for different item types.
These include package dimensions for A4-sized envelopes, book covers, board games, small kitchen appliances, and moving boxes.
3.4) The Final Quote
After you fill in the required parcel details, you can proceed with the final option, “get a quote.” It will display the shipping price, shipment time, estimated delivery date, and time for the final delivery. You can carry on to save the shipment and continue with the final booking in its booking portal.
3.5) Value Added Services
DHL has other add-on services that you can opt for a shipping delivery experience. The add-on services include:
Express document and parcel door-to-door delivery for time-sensitive shipments.
Real-time electronic proof-of-delivery
Scheduling of courier pick-up
Insurance or financial protection against loss and damage
Carbon emissions offsetting for green shipping
It is important to keep in mind that the DHL shipping calculator only shows the shipping cost. The actual booking takes place in a different portal. Once you have the shipping quote, you can email it or print it as convenient.
4) Shipping Services offered by DHL
DHL offers the perfect solution for every individual and business to deliver documents or parcels, small or large, domestically or internationally.
DHL primarily has two shipping services, one for documents and parcels and the other for air, ocean, road, and rail freight. Over the years, DHL has developed many eCommerce solutions, including DHL Express and DHL Global Forwarding.
Knowing about these services will help you determine your ideal shipping method and evaluate its shipping price. You will also get an approximate package weight and dimension limit to accurately fill in the details in the DHL calculator.
4.1) International Shipping Services:
DHL offers international shipping to 220 countries, and its services include customs clearance and shipment protection. Given below are its international shipping options:
Parcel International Direct
This shipping method offers high-speed, parcel, and document shipping with end-to-end visibility in 35 international countries. The transit time ranges between three to ten business days with a weight limit of 44 lbs. For shipping to Canada, the weight limit is 64 lbs.
Parcel International Standard
This is DHL’s affordable international shipping option for Europe and Canada on the one hand and the rest of the world on the other. It offers simplified customs clearance and global tracking. The shipping time for Europe and Canada is four to eight business days and eight to fourteen days for the rest of the world.
Parcel Packet International
This is a cost-effective shipping solution for lightweight packages weighing upto 4.4 lbs. DHL ships parcels with a dimension limit of 36 inches, including length, width, and height. The service comes with customs clearance and a convenient system where taxes are paid after delivery.
4.2) Domestic Shipping Services
DHL collaborating with United States Postal Service, caters to 160 million addresses in the U.S., providing reliable and fast shipping methods. The final door-to-door delivery is taken care of by the local carriers. Here are its domestic shipping options:
Smart Mail Parcel and Parcel Plus
This shipping method has three shipping speed tiers. First, expedited max ships parcels within two to three postal days. Second, expedited shipping requires three to five postal days. Third, the ground shipping service ships orders within three to eight postal days.
The Smart Mail Parcel has two weight limits- 16 oz for Smartmail Parcel and 1-2 lbs for the Smartmail Parcel Plus option.
DHL offers the SmartMail Flats service exclusively for shipping marketing documents like newsletters, magazines, brochures, enrollment kits, etc. The average shipping time ranges between three to eight postal days. It levies a weight limit of 16 oz for each package.
SmartMail Bound Printed Matter
This special service also caters to marketing and editorial publications. However, it is specially designed to carefully handle stapled, stitched, spiral-bound, or glued articles. The weight of the parcels can be anywhere from 1 to 15 lbs.
There are two service levels provided here. If you opt for expedited shipping, it will take two to five days. In the case of ground shipping, it takes three to eight postal days.
SmartMail Parcel Return
This is exclusively a returns solution that DHL offers to eCommerce retailers. The service expedites returning parcels to businesses and presents different return label options and drop-off services. Consumers can drop off parcels in any USPS mailbox or post office or schedule a pick-up.
DHL has three shipping options based on the parcel weights. It takes two to four days for lightweight parcels not exceeding 16 oz. For packages weighing up to 70 lbs, DHL offers Ground (one to three days) and Plus shipping (one to eight days) services.
4.3) DHL eCommerce Solutions
DHL’s eCommerce shipping solutions enhance its domestic and international shipping methods. Its packages include premium and add-on services ranging from shipping insurance to EDI integrations. Here are some of its most popular eCommerce solutions:
Address Verification and Routing
Keeping in line with the standards of USPS, DHL presents U.S. address verification and accurate zip code suggestions to ensure correct deliveries. Moreover, it constantly monitors traffic patterns and reroutes shipments to bypass local problems, including post office closures and severe weather.
DHL covers shipments against loss and damage occurring in transit with a charge of 100 USD per parcel. There are additional coverages available for extra fees. The insurance is available for all its international and domestic shipping services.
Customer Web Portal
This centralized tool enables businesses to print labels, track shipments, check invoices, manage returns, and access analytical reports.
4.4) DHL Global Forwarding
Under the DHL Global Forwarding banner, this logistics giant covers road, air, and ocean freight. These are boosted by services such as customs consultation and tracking. The freight services extend to pallets, cargo, and containers. Below is a brief breakdown of DHL international freight services:
The air freight services are divided into six categories according to the urgency of the shipments.
For highly critical freight requiring transit time of 24 hours, there is DHL Same Day Jetline and Same Day Speedline service.
There is DHL Air Priority and Economy for urgent and economical freight, with shipping time varying between one to two or seven to five days.
There are two extra services for handling special cargo and temperate-sensitive freight. They are DHL Air Charter and Air Thermonet.
DHL offers a comprehensive logistics service for ocean freight forwarding. Its network extends to 190 countries and offers innovative container solutions, customs services, and oversized container shipping. The ocean freight services are divided according to FCL (Full-Container-Load), LCL (Less-than-Container-Load), and temperature-controlled loads.
DHL’s rail freight network extends to large swathes of Europe and Asia and connects the two countries’ rail freight services. It has two options, DHL RailLine for FCL and DHL Rail Connect for LCL. These options are more environmentally friendly than ocean freight services.
5) Factors Analyzed by DHL Shipping Calculator
While several factors affect your shipping costs, the DHL shipping calculator begins by first analyzing your package data. This includes the pick-up, and delivery information and presents you with an initial bill with the breakup.
5.1) Package Dimensions
The first step in calculating the shipping costs is to measure the dimensions, i.e., length, width, height, and weight of your package. You can do it manually or opt for any of the dimensions provided by DHL based on the item type.
5.2) Pick-up Data
Pick-up details such as your name, company name, postal address, phone number, and email address are required once you have entered your package details.
5.3) Delivery Data
Delivery details such as the recipient's name, company name, postal address, phone number, and email address are recorded at this stage.
DHL price calculator calculates the shipping cost using the information provided by you. It may also offer value-added services at this point, such as extended liability covers and guaranteed delivery before noon at extra cost.
The calculator also presents the bill break-up showing the base charge, tax amount, and any paid services you have opted for.
The DHL shipping cost calculator may estimate your shipping costs by volumetric or parcel weight. Volumetric weight is applicable when your parcel is light in weight but large in size.
6) Surcharges Included in DHL Shipping Calculator
Additional services and facilities that may affect your shipping costs can be found in this segment. Anything from changing information, requesting delivery after business hours, or additional handling. It also involves critical scenarios like delivery in war-stricken territories. All these will cost you extra by weight or shipment.
6.1) High-Risk Shipment Activity
These services normally involve situations where is substantial risk in delivering products. Such as:
Security issues in logistics operations while exporting or importing from high-risk countries in a state of war, civil unrest, or terrorism threats.
Destinations with trade restrictions such as Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, North Korea, Yemen, and Syria.
Emergencies across the globe may require appropriate solutions for warehousing and transportation.
6.2) Logistical Challenges
DHL considers issues requiring shipping route modifications and further instructions for delivery.
Shipments that require delivery and/or pick-up in remote areas that are distant or difficult to reach.
Correction of personal data entered during the time of booking of shipments consigned with non-electronic or paper-based waybills.
The shipment has incomplete, outdated, or incorrect addresses.
Additional handling of overweight or oversized packages.
DHL provides Saturday delivery and pick-up in countries where Saturday is not a working day.
6.3) Special Services
Special services often involve duty taxes calculation, proof-of-delivery options, or extra charges levied during particular situations, like:
Shipment duty, such as Duty Tax Paid, Duty Tax Importer, or Duty Tax Receiver, dictates who is accountable for paying duties, taxes, or regulatory charges.
For delivery of goods where the value is not shared with the receiver, DHL will ensure that any paperwork is removed from the package before delivery.
Customers who have subscribed to e-billing but require a paper invoice will be charged extra for the service.
Customers who request a change of information on an issued invoice will be charged extra for the service.
6.4) Unique Requests
The unique requests often involve circumstances when eCommerce retailers require special handling and packaging services:
DHL will help you with extra resources for package preparation for irregular or seasonal shipments.
They manage waybill generation, picking and packing, labeling, and delivering your goods for a fee.
For a fee, they offer special vehicles for unusual shipments or pick-up before or after business hours.
For valuable goods and documents, DHL offers Shipment Protection and Extended Liability.
6.5) DHL’s GoGreen Climate Neutral Feature
The GoGreen Climate Neutral initiative is DHL’s way of recovering the greenhouse impact created by the shipping and logistics industry.
DHL’s GoGreen Climate Neutral initiative is perfect for businesses that care about the environment and the impact of carbon footprints.
DHL promises to offset carbon emissions related to your shipment’s transport by charging per kilo for this special service.
DHL also provides you with an estimate or detailed carbon footprint on a contractual basis.
7) Customs and Related Activities Included in DHL Shipping Calculator
Adhering to international shipping services, the DHL courier charges calculator estimates the following factors for international shipping. Knowing about these factors is especially important for business account holders.
7.1) Freight Forwarding Methods
DHL presents various shipping methods in each category of rail, ocean, road, and air freight services. The calculator estimates a shipping charge depending on the selected freight service's time, distance, and weight.
DHL takes care of completing and amending the paperwork required for customs clearance. They also inform business owners of any penalties, taxes, and duties required by country-specific regulations.
7.3) Forwarding Agent
DHL also plays the role of forwarding agent for the shipper and receiver to gain control of clearance purposes.
7.4) Troubleshooting Services
They offer alternative delivery options such as no signature required, redirection or collection, and delivery on another day.
In cases where the receiver cannot be located, refuses delivery, or refuses to pay shipment charges, DHL will charge the shipper for return to sender.
7.5) Failure-to-Pay Resolution
If the shipper fails to pay for the return, the goods will be sold to reimburse the charges incurred by DHL, and the balance may be returned to the sender.
8) Prohibited Items Under DHL Shipping Calculator
It’s always a good idea to take the time to go through the rulebook of DHL, as any mistakes will invariably incur additional costs.
While the list of allowed items is generalized, there may be some particulars in the prohibited list that you may want to look at.
For example, although phones feature in the allowed category, Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is prohibited.
Also under the prohibited category are -
Original and Imitation firearms and parts
Clinical and Biological sample
Toxic and Bio-hazardous substances
Livestock and Animals
Tobacco Products such as Cigarettes and Cigars
Cash, Cheques, Credit Cards
Jewelry and Gemstones
Antiques and Art exceeding a 5000 Pound value
9) How to Ship and Save With DHL
DHL always has a slew of special offers and deals on its website. From discounted online booking prices to festive seasonal deals, there's always a way to save by using the DHL rate calculator to your advantage.
Considering the proliferation of student debt and loans in education, DHL has a special plan for international students. For those looking to study abroad, DHL offers a Pre-paid card number in the form of a code.
Students can receive their documents through the Receiver Paid service by loading their accounts with cash or topping up as needed. It even sends its excess baggage door to door with free packaging and insurance. This service opens the potential for exciting discounts, package deals, and offers.
Whether you are an individual or a business, DHL has various features that can be plugged into the DHL shipping calculator. DHL holds tightly to its promise of offering you the best possible price and safest transit for your precious cargo.
Covering domestic and international logistics easily, it has never been easier to ship a wide range of products with DHL. Its price calculator gives a valuable estimation of delivery time and date. This is especially helpful in notifying your customers. DHL also offers many services within the range of your business budget and for dynamic purposes.
As a business using the DHL shipping calculator, it is now possible to pre-plan your shipment and know its costs ahead of time. This allows you to factor it into a customer’s delivery fee or, as an individual, decide if you’d like to wait for better deals.
11.1) Does DHL charge by weight?
DHL’s shipping charges for Domestic and International shipments are calculated by chargeable weight, i.e., the greater actual or dimensional weight.
11.2) How does DHL charge for Shipping?
For a free shipping quote, it’s as easy as entering your origin, destination, and shipment details on the DHL website. Instantaneously, DHL provides a bill break-up where you can see the shipping charges and taxes details.
11.3) Does DHL charge duty?
According to local customs legislation, DHL will pay the duty on behalf of the receiver to clear shipments at the destination. These are mostly configured into the shipping cost. Any unforeseen taxes or fees will be charged extra and must be borne by the shipper or receiver as per the contract.
11.4) How heavy can DHL Ship?
DHL has many weight limits for its parcel and freight delivery options Parcels have a weight limit of 70 kg ( 154 lbs). For freight shipments requiring tail life, the weight limit is 750 kg.
11.5) Does DHL have flat rate boxes?
DHL offers Prepaid flat-rate boxes in the US to minimize expenses and paperwork.