The difference between springs and lead
1,000 kg of feathers has a larger volume than 1,000 kg of lead. To be able to bridge this difference, certain conversion factors have been agreed upon within the transport sector.
Which weight determines the cost?
For each shipment, we calculate the volume weight and compare it with the actual weight in kilograms. We make this calculation using an industry-wide formula. With air freight, 1 cbm (cubic metre) equals 167 kg. With sea freight (LCL) 1 cbm is equal to a maximum of 1000 kg, while with road transport 1 cbm is equal to 333 kg. The highest weight (volume or actual) is charged.
- Air freight: 1 cbm = 167 kg (volume ratio is 1:6)
- Road transport: 1 cbm = 333 kg (volume ratio 1:3)
- Sea freight: 1 cbm = 1,000 kg (volume ratio is 1:1)
We calculate the final shipping costs based on 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 to calculate 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, the calculation is often made in loading metres. 1 loading metre is equal to 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 which cannot be stacked. 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 actually the same as the loading weight, but with a different name.