Airlines determine freight charges by “weight”. But imagine you’re shipping a pallet of styrofoam. Airlines, as well as ocean and ground carriers, have a way of analyzing density to determine if the gross weight or the “volume weight” is considered the “chargeable weight”. IE. Styrofoam would certainly use volume weight based on the formulas below.

Again, the weight applicable for calculating freight charges is either the volume weight or gross weight. The greater of the two is considered the chargeable weight.

**Calculating Volume Weight**

- For Air Freight:
- 1 cubic meter = 167 kgs
- 1 cubic meter = 368 lbs

- For Trucking
- 1 cubic meter = 143 kgs
- 1 cubic meter = 315 lbs

If you need help calculating cubic meters:

- 1 cubic meter = 61024 cubic inches
- 1 cubic meter = 35.3 cubic feet

** Many LTL trucking companies require dimensions to determine rates, NMFC and freight classes. If you only have cubic meters (CBM), a quick way to estimate dimensions is by multiplying the CBM by 32. This will give you an estimate for the height in inches. If there are multiple pallets, divide by the number of pallets. If you don’t know the number of pallets, I would estimate the average height of 50 inches (conservatively) to calculate the total number of pallets.

Example 1: If a shipment is 2 CBM, (2 CBM * 33) equals 64. Thus, you can estimate the dimensions of this shipment as being 48” x 40” x 64”.

Example 2: If a shipment is 3.3 CBM and is two pallets, (3.3 CBM * 32) equals 105.6. Thus, you can estimate the dimensions of this shipment as being 2 pallets * 48” x 40” x 52.8”.

Example 3: If a shipment is 5 CBM and don’t know the number, (5 CBM * 32) equals 160. Thus, you can estimate 4 pallets (160 divided by 4) and the dimensions of this shipment as being 4 pallets * 48” x 40” x 40”.