# How to Calculate Weight from Volume

Regardless of transportation mode, every carrier has evolved packing tactics to optimize capacity and, eventually, revenue. To that purpose, carriers developed a method for measuring volumetric weight to make the most lightweight objects that take up more room.

Volumetric weight relates to a parcel's total dimensions and is measured in volumetric kilos. Volumetric weight can be estimated by multiplying the length, breadth, and height of a package (in cm) by 5000 (Some carriers use a divisor of 4000).

Your shipping price is frequently determined by the volumetric weight of your parcel(s) instead of the physical weight. This is because our costing is dependent on the larger of the volumetric weight and the physical weight.

Learning how to estimate the volumetric weight is essential for determining the exact cost of sending a product to a consumer. Whether you manage shipping logistics yourself or outsourcing the process to a 3PL, it's critical to grasp what volumetric weight is or how to estimate it. Continue reading to find out more about volumetric weight calculation.

## A Step-by-Step Guide to Calculating Volumetric Weight

Volumetric weight is an important calculation for any business involved in shipping. It allows you to determine the density of a parcel and accurately calculate shipping costs. This guide will walk you through how to calculate volumetric weight in 4 easy steps.

### 1. Measure the Dimensions

First, measure the length, width and height of your parcel in inches (or centimeters). Be sure to round up to the nearest whole number. Measure from the furthest points on each side to account for any uneven shapes.

### 2. Calculate the Cubic Size

Take your rounded measurements and multiply them together to get the cubic size in inches or centimeters. For example: 12 x 10 x 8 inches = 960 cubic inches.

### 3. Divide by the Dimensional Factor

Major carriers like FedEx and UPS use dimensional factors (also called DIM divisors) to calculate volumetric weight. For FedEx, this is 139 cubic inches per pound. Take your cubic size and divide it by 139. In our example, 960 cubic inches / 139 = 6.9 pounds.

### 4. Compare to Actual Weight

Compare your volumetric weight to the actual weight of the parcel. Whichever is greater is the weight used to calculate shipping costs. This ensures you are charged fairly for the amount of space the package takes up.

## Volumetric Weight by Shipment Mode

The dimensional factors used for air, ocean and parcel shipments are slightly different. But the calculation method remains the same.

### Air Freight Volumetric Weight

Air freight typically uses a 1:6000 ratio (166 cubic inches per pound). Volume is rounded up to the nearest half kilogram for billing.

### Parcel Volumetric Weight

Express couriers like DHL, FedEx and UPS use a 1:5000 ratio (139 cubic inches per pound). This is the same dim factor used for FedEx ground shipments.

### Ocean Freight Volumetric Weight

LCL ocean freight has a very low dim factor, resulting in higher volumetric weights. So LCL costs are almost always calculated based on volume in CBM, rather than weight.

Understanding volumetric weight helps you accurately calculate shipping costs across modes. This protects your margins and ensures fair billing to customers. Following these simple calculation steps is key.

Regardless of transportation mode, every carrier has evolved packing tactics to optimize capacity and, eventually, revenue. To that purpose, carriers developed a method for measuring volumetric weight to make the most lightweight objects that take up more room.

Volumetric weight relates to a parcel's total dimensions and is measured in volumetric kilos. Volumetric weight can be estimated by multiplying the length, breadth, and height of a package (in cm) by 5000 (Some carriers use a divisor of 4000).

Your shipping price is frequently determined by the volumetric weight of your parcel(s) instead of the physical weight. This is because our costing is dependent on the larger of the volumetric weight and the physical weight.

Learning how to estimate the volumetric weight is essential for determining the exact cost of sending a product to a consumer. Whether you manage shipping logistics yourself or outsourcing the process to a 3PL, it's critical to grasp what volumetric weight is or how to estimate it. Continue reading to find out more about volumetric weight calculation.

## A Step-by-Step Guide to Calculating Volumetric Weight

Volumetric weight is an important calculation for any business involved in shipping. It allows you to determine the density of a parcel and accurately calculate shipping costs. This guide will walk you through how to calculate volumetric weight in 4 easy steps.

### 1. Measure the Dimensions

First, measure the length, width and height of your parcel in inches (or centimeters). Be sure to round up to the nearest whole number. Measure from the furthest points on each side to account for any uneven shapes.

### 2. Calculate the Cubic Size

Take your rounded measurements and multiply them together to get the cubic size in inches or centimeters. For example: 12 x 10 x 8 inches = 960 cubic inches.

### 3. Divide by the Dimensional Factor

Major carriers like FedEx and UPS use dimensional factors (also called DIM divisors) to calculate volumetric weight. For FedEx, this is 139 cubic inches per pound. Take your cubic size and divide it by 139. In our example, 960 cubic inches / 139 = 6.9 pounds.

### 4. Compare to Actual Weight

Compare your volumetric weight to the actual weight of the parcel. Whichever is greater is the weight used to calculate shipping costs. This ensures you are charged fairly for the amount of space the package takes up.

## Volumetric Weight by Shipment Mode

The dimensional factors used for air, ocean and parcel shipments are slightly different. But the calculation method remains the same.

### Air Freight Volumetric Weight

Air freight typically uses a 1:6000 ratio (166 cubic inches per pound). Volume is rounded up to the nearest half kilogram for billing.

### Parcel Volumetric Weight

Express couriers like DHL, FedEx and UPS use a 1:5000 ratio (139 cubic inches per pound). This is the same dim factor used for FedEx ground shipments.

### Ocean Freight Volumetric Weight

LCL ocean freight has a very low dim factor, resulting in higher volumetric weights. So LCL costs are almost always calculated based on volume in CBM, rather than weight.

Understanding volumetric weight helps you accurately calculate shipping costs across modes. This protects your margins and ensures fair billing to customers. Following these simple calculation steps is key.

## Commonly Asked Questions

### What is volumetric weight?

Volumetric weight calculates the density of a parcel based on its dimensions. It allows for more accurate shipping quotes across different carriers and modes.

### Why is volumetric weight used?

To account for both the weight and amount of space a parcel occupies. Large but lightweight items can take up valuable cargo capacity.

### How do you calculate it?

Measure dimensions, calculate cubic size, divide by the dimensional factor, and compare to actual weight. The greater amount is used for billing.

### What are common dimensional factors?

FedEx and UPS parcel shipments use 139 cubic inches per pound. Air freight uses 166 cubic inches per pound. Ocean freight has the lowest factor.

### Does size or weight matter more?

If an item is dense, actual weight will be used. But for large, lightweight items - like pillows - volumetric weight will be higher to account for space.

### What are the 4 key calculation steps?

1. Measure dimensions in inches/cm 2. Calculate cubic size 3. Divide by dimensional factor 4. Compare to actual weight

### How does this impact costs?

Accurately calculating volumetric weight ensures you are charged fairly by carriers for both parcel weight and size.