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Cubic Meter

Ocean Freight charges are based on the volume you are shipping.

OCEAN MODE OF TRANSPORTATION: Since vessel capacity is not actually limited by cargo weight, charges for regular ocean shipments are based on the total cargo volume.

Generally for sea shipments, the weight of the cargo not a pricing factor

We found that people shipping freight to or from the USA by sea sometimes misunderstand the meaning of cubic feet and cubic meter. This page will help you to understand the meaning of capacity and volume in respect to international ocean cargo transportation.

About the CUBIC FOOT – CFT
  • A cubic foot is simply a measurement of volume
  • The cubic foot is an imperial and US customary (non-metric) unit of volume, used in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. It is defined as the volume of a cube with sides of one foot (0.3048 m) in length.
  • A cubic foot is equal to space one foot wide, one foot long, and one foot high.
    To calculate the capacity from inches to CFT: Multiply the length in inches x width in inches x height in inches, then divide by 1728 to get cubic feet. Example: 48" L x 24" W x 60" H = sum 69,120 cubic inches - 69,120 ÷ 1,728 = 40 cu ft
  • If you are measuring in centimeters the formula is to multiply each centimeter by .39 to get inches. If you are measuring in cubic meters: divide each cubic meter by 35.5 to get cubic feet

To give you a rough idea of how large a 100 cubic foot space will be, measure a square on your floor that is 4 feet by 4 feet. If this space were to be stacked 6 feet high, the stack would equal to 100 cubic feet.

About the CUBIC METER – CBM (m3)
  • The cubic meter is a considerably larger volume for your ocean freight shipment.
  • The cubic meter is an International System of Units measurement of volume defined as the volume of a cube with edges one meter in length.
  • One metric meter is approximately 3.28 metric feet.
  • ONE CUBIC METER is approximately 35 CUBIC FEET.
Ocean freight charges are determined by the gross volume (capacity) of the cargo.

Once your shipment arrives at our warehouse we will prepare it in a concise package for export by either palletizing it or crating it.

Typically, a shipment will be stacked onto a wooden base and then wrapped in thick plastic shrink-wrap. This base, called a pallet, generally measures 40 x 48 inches. Depending on the weight of your cartons the pallet can be stacked up to 72 inches high.

After the items are stacked we will measure the length, width, and height of the stacked pallet at its greatest points to calculate the total volume.

Of course, each client is individual. No other shipments will be stacked onto your pallet.

Always keep in mind that a very long box such as one that might contain a pair of snow skis will push the gross volume higher even though the remaining boxes do not stack as tall as the long box.

The difference between net volume and gross volume

Net volume is the length by width by height of each piece within the shipment.

Gross volume if the length by width by height of the entire shipment once it has been palletized or crated.

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