Volume calculator

In addition to weight, the space occupied by a shipment is an important factor in determining the shipping costs. On an airplane less space is available than on a container ship. That is why the so-called volumetric weight and the 'paying' weight are relevant when calculating the pricing of your shipment. The 'paying' weight has been created as a conversion factor to bridge the difference between volume and weight. We calculate the volumetric weight for each shipment and compare this with the actual weight in kilograms. 

The difference between springs and lead

1,000 kg of springs has a larger volume than 1,000 kg of lead. In order to be able to charge this difference equally, certain conversion factors have been agreed upon within the transport sector.

Which weight determines the costs?

For each shipment we calculate the volume weight and compare it to the actual weight in kilos. We make this calculation using an approved formula. With air freight, 1 cbm (cubic metre) equals 167 kg. With sea freight (LCL) 1 cbm equals a maximum of 1000 kg, whereas with road transport 1 cbm equals 333 kg. The highest weight (volume or actual) is charged.

  • Air freight: 1 cbm = 167 kilo (volume ratio is 1:6)
  • Road transport: 1 cbm = 333 kilo (volume ratio 1:3)
  • Sea freight: 1 cbm = 1,000 kilo (volume ratio is 1:1)

We calculate the final shipping costs on the basis of the higher of the two ‘weights’: this is the ‘chargeable weight’. If goods take up ‘too much’ space (e.g. large, bulky products), we therefore calculate with the volume weight in most cases.

How do you calculate the volume weight?

To calculate the volume weight, first determine the volume: length x width x height (in centimetres). Then divide this number by one of the following factors:

  • Air freight: 6,000
  • Road transport: 3,000
  • Sea transport: 1.000

What about load meters in road transport?

In road transport, we often calculate with loading metres. 1 load metre equals 1 linear metre of loading space in the lorry. This is often used as a unit of calculation for goods that cannot be stacked or on which you cannot stack. In this way, the trucker compensates, as it were, for lost space. Usually, 1 loading metre corresponds to 1,750 kg. When using pallets, you can also convert to load metres: 1 euro pallet (80×120 cm) is 0.4 load metres and 1 block pallet (100×120 cm) is 0.5 load metres.

What is meant by size/weight in sea freight?

With sea freight, you can opt for a full container, but also for a so-called LCL shipment. In that case we load several LCL shipments from different owners into 1 container. In this case, you pay for the space used in the container. Here we calculate with the Size/Weight (M/W) method: per cubic meter (‘size’) or per ton (‘weight’). So basically the same as the loadable weight, but with a different name.