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How To Calculate Cubic Metres (CBM) When Shipping

Determining cubic metres(CBM) is the first step you should take in determining how to ship your cargo.

  • CBM Calculation Formula :
    Length (centimeter) x Width (centimeter) x Height (centimeter) / 1,000,000 = Cubic meter (m3)
    Length (meter) x Width (meter) x Height (meter) = Cubic meter (m3)
    e.g. 35 cm x 35 cm x 45 cm = 0.055 cbm
  • CFT Calculation Formula : ( Length” x Width” x Height” ) / 1728 = Cubic feet (CFT)
  • KT Calculation Formula : Pounds / 2204.62 = Kiloton (Kt)

Calculate the volumetric weight of your shipment

Sometimes, large items with a light overall weight can be charged according to the space they take up on aircraft. In these cases, Volumetric Weight, or dimensional (Dim) weight, is used to calculate the shipment cost. It is recommended that you calculate the Volumetric Weight for every shipment that you send, then compare this to its actual weight. The greater weight of the two is used to work out the price that we charge you.

International volumetric weights are calculated using the formula below:
(Length x Width x Height in centimeters) / 6000 = Volumetric Weight in kilograms

Calculating the CBM and Freight Rate

CBM means Cubic Meter. However, the total weight of cargo should not exceed 1 ton. That means, if the cargo weight is above 1000kgs, the volume of cargo is treated on the basis of weight. charges LCL rate on the basis of ‘per CBM’ or per weight of 1000kgs (1 ton) which ever is higher. CBM – cubic meter is calculated by multiplying length, width and height of packages of goods.

For example, if the length, height and width of a cargo is 2.3 meters, 1.4meters and 2 meters respectively, the volume of cargo is 2.3 X 1.4 X 2.00 = 6.44 CBM. If you have the measurement in inches or centimeters, first you need to convert in meters and then calculate CBM which will be easier for you. If quote a rate of USD 10.00 per CBM, the rate will be 6.44 CBM X USD 10.00 per CBM = USD 64.40.If the weight of the said package is 7 tons (7000kgs), the freight on LCL is calculated on the basis of weight. That is, 7 tons X USD 10.00 = USD 70.00. So, weight of 1 ton (1000kgs) is treated as 1cbm. In other words, the LCL freight is calculated on the volume of 1 CBM or weight of 1 ton (1000kgs) which ever is higher.

Load ability of ocean containers

  • 20’ft container 26-28 CBM
  • 40’ft container 56-58 CBM
  • 40’ft HQ container 60-68 CBM
  • 45’ft HQ container about 78 CBM

Please note that this calculator is intended only as a quick guide. In practice, actual loading will depend on accurate calculations based on how the items are loaded in the container and whether the dimensions of the cartons leave unusable space. Load factors will vary based on carton size and how they are stowed inside the containers.