CBM calculator for containers

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 = Length (meter) x Width (meter) x Height (meter) = Cubic meter (m³). e.g. 35 cm x 35 cm x 45 cm = 0.055 cbm (calculate cubic meter)
    • CFT Formula : Length” x Width” x Height” = ? divided 1728 = Cubic feet (CFT) (calculate cubic feet)
    • 1 cubic meter = 35.3146 cubic feet (cbm & cft converter)
    • 1 lb = 0.45359237 kg, 1 kg = 2.20462262 lbs.(convert kilograms to pounds)
How to use this calculator:
        • Take a ruler to measure the actual size of outer carton
        • Fill the blanks of dimensions (length,width,height)
        • Fill the blank of carton gross weight
        • Fill the blank of carton quantity
        • The total cargo volume will be calculated automatic
        • If you prefer use Imperial unit inches and pounds, try this cubic feet calculator for shipping (calculate CBM volume from inch & pound)
Calculate the volumetric weight of your shipment

Sometimes, large items with a light overall weight will be charged according to the space they take up on aircraft, eg. carnival headband, luggage. In these cases, volumetric weight, or dimensional 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 it’s actual weight. The greater weight of the two is used to work out the price that air shipping company will charge you.

International volumetric weights are calculated using the formula below:

(Length x Width x Height in centimeters) / 5000 = Volumetric Weight in kilograms

For example :
If we have a carton with size 40 x 50 x 60 cm, and the gross weight(with products) is 20 kg.
40 x 50 x 60 = 120000
120000 / 5000 = 24
so the volume metric weight is 24 kg. and the actual weight is 20 kg.
this shipping cost will be charge to the price of 24 kg.

Calculating the CBM

Calculate the cubic metre (or cubic foot ), volume and quantity per shipping container .
Want to get a quick and easy calculation of how many of your product(s) will fit in a shipping container?
Here’s a simple and fast way of doing it to get an approximate quantity.

Loadability of ocean containers
        • 20ft container approximately 26-28 CBM
        • 40ft container approximately 55-58 CBM
        • 40ft HQ container approximately 60-68 CBM
        • 45ft HQ container approximately 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.


Volumetric Weight

Large items, light in weight are usually charged according to the space they take up on an aircraft. Shipment cost for such items/consignments are calculated by their volumetric weight, or dimensional weight. The formula below is used for calculating volumetric weights.

  • Commodity C1024 – Live fish
  • Commodity C1401 – Cut foliage and live plants

Calculation of Volumetric Weight

1 / Commodity – C1024


           Dimensions in centimetres  (47 x 41 x 37) 80 pieces

47 x 41 x 37 x 80
———————–  = 815 kilograms

Calculation of Volumetric Weight

2 / Commodity – C1401


         Dimensions in centimetres (100 x 45 x 40) 56 pieces

100 x 45 x 40 x 56
———————–  = 1440.0 kilograms

Calculation of Volumetric Weight

3 / All Other Cargo
(except C1024 & C1401)


         Dimensions in centimetres (60 x 42 x 37) 60 pieces

60 x 42 x 37 x 60
———————–  = 932.5 kilograms