Calculating your Freight Cost

The cost of freight, and how it should be calculated, will vary depending on the type of freight you opt for. Each type of freight is outlined below.


Air freight is calculated by the airline by the greater of the Actual Weight or the Volumetric Weight.

For example, let’s calculate the cost of your air freight shipment if it was 145kg, with dimensions of 1.20 x 0.80 x 0.45cm.

To calculate the volume weight, you multiply your dimensions as follows: 1.20 x 0.80 x 0.45 = 0.432 cubic metres.

Airline volume equals, 1 cbm = 167kg

So you have 0.432 cbm x 167kg = 72.144kg (This is your volumetric weight); It will always be rounded up.

In this case you have an actual weight of 145kg and a volume weight of 73kg. So you will pay freight on the actual weight.

If you had a shipment with dimensions of 1.20 x 1.20 x 1.00, this would equal 1.44 CBM x 167kg = 240.48 kg, so in this case your actual weight was 145kg but your volumetric weight is 241kg. So, you would pay freight on the volume weight.

Please note, if you have 20 cartons you will need to work out the cubic on each carton, add them up and then multiply by 167kg to get your volumetric weight.

Sea Freight

Sea freight is calculated on Cubic Metres or Cubic weight.

In sea freight terms, the cubic weight is 1000kg per Cubic Metre.

So, for example, if you had a shipment at 1050kg with dimensions as follows, you need to calculate the cubic as we did in Airfreight.

  • 120 x 1.00 x 0.50 = 0.60
  • 0.90 x 0.90 x 0.75 = 0.6075 round up = 0.61
  • 1.16 x 1.16 x 1.25 = 1.68
  • 0.50 x 0.40 x 0.60 = 0.12
  • So the total is = 3.01 CBM
  • 3.01 x 1000kg = 3010kg

So, in this case you would pay for 3.01 cbm. But, if the weight of your shipment was 4010kg then you would pay for 4.01 cbm because you divide 4010kg x 1000kg = 4.01 cbm

As freight forwarders, we will help you calculate your shipment. Never be afraid to ask a question, that’s what we are here for.