“What weighs more – a tonne of gold or a tonne of feathers?”
Of course we all know the answer – that they are exactly the same, of course. But what if the question was “which would be cheaper to ship to Outer Mongolia?” Suddenly we have added 2 extra dimensions to the problem – those of volume and density, are you still quite so confident in your answer?
Such is the complexity of dealing with shipping consignments of all different shapes, sizes, density, materials around the world, such are the intricate details that we deal with every day, juggling Volume and Density. Ensuring that we are offering the best possible freight solution must be carefully calibrated to every individual shipment – which is where our experts come in!
In freight terms, you are always charged by whichever is the greater – the weight or volume. this is true of all freight (air, sea, road) but all have different pre-set weight/volume metrics, they can even vary from country to country, in addition to the complications of some countries sticking to the Imperial system whilst the rest or the world works in Metric. (See the note at the bottom of this blog for more details.)
AT EBISS we are always very particular about weighing and measuring every shipment, crate, box, carton or parcel that we are transporting regardless of the freight method, this information is vital to providing you with a cost-effective delivery and reducing the chance of any delays to your consignment, we’ll explain further below.
Road, Air & Sea Freight
Loading Metre (LDM) – these are different depending on the freight method, so vary slightly from Road, Air and Sea. A Loading Metre allocated space based on footprint size initially, but also factors in weight, with a maximum weight per loading metre allowed, after that you will need to book for additional loading metres to allow for any additional weight.
A standard European lorry loading space is 2.4m wide, when you book 1 Loading Metre (LDM) you are booking 1 metre of the loading length of the trailer, but for the full width – so in reality the footprint for that space is 1m deep x 2.4m wide.
The height of this area can be from around 2.55m to 2.7m tall, but bear in mind the stability of the load and also you must leave some space at the top between the top of your load and the roof of the trailer, to allow a forklift to lift and remove the pallet at its destination.
For your 1 LDM booked, your shipment (including pallet) must not exceed those dimensions and must not exceed 1850kg in weight. If your shipment exceeds that weight you would be required to book an additional LDM to give you the additional weight allowance, so if you now had 1 Loading Metres booked you would have 2m x 2.4m floor space in the trailer, but a maximum weight allocation of 3700kg.
Air freight shipment charges are calculated on both the Actual Gross Weight and the Volumetric Dimension Weight (DIM) of the shipment – you are then charged whichever is the greater of the two. Because space is at such a premium when loading an aircraft, they use an estimated weight based on the dimensions of the load (L x W x H) and the weight is calculated at a rate of 6000cubic centimetres equalling 1kg, or 1 cubic metre equals 166.66kg.
To obtain your dimensional weight in kg, measure your load in cm then multiple the height, width and length, then divide this number by 6000 to give you the weight in kg. So if your shipment was 100cm x 100cm x 100cm = 1,000,000cm³
1,000,000 cm³ divided by 6000 = 166.66kg
This is because of large items with a low weight take up more space than smaller, heavier items.
If you are shipping very heavy, or items with a very high density then Sea Freight offers you the most cost-effective method of shipment.
1m³ (or CBM) for Sea Freight allows a weight of 1000kg
(this can vary between couriers, always check the exact rate before booking)
As the Air Freight above but the dividing factor here is 5000 and not 6000. So your
100cm x 100cm x 100cm = 1,000,000cm³
1,000,000 cm³ divided by 5000 = 200kg
A quick note regarding the USA: Bear in mind that if shipping to/from or via the US their weights and measures would be in inches and lbs, and their ton is NOT THE SAME as a metric ton.
In the US, a ton, also called a short ton, is equal to 2,000 U.S. lbs Most other nations have standardized around the metric system and use what is called the metric ton. A metric ton is equal to 1,000 kilograms. Therefore, a metric ton is slightly larger than a U.S. ton and it converts to 2,204.6lbs.
Ton or Tonne?
Quick answer: either is fine, although tonne is more widely used in the UK, ton is commonly used in American English.
Unsure how to work out your Volumetrics accurately? Here’s the best news – we do ALL these calculations automatically on your behalf – so you don’t have to!
Contact our logistics experts today for a free, no obligation quote for your next shipment.
UK/EUROPE: Tel: +44 203 780 0666 email: email@example.com
USA: +1 815 516 5084 email: firstname.lastname@example.org