How to calculate volume weight

Volume weight, also known as dimensional weight or volumetric weight, is a calculation used in shipping to account for the space that a package occupies in relation to its actual weight. It’s often used by carriers to determine shipping charges, especially for lightweight but bulky items.

Here’s how to calculate volume weight:

  1. Measurements: Gather the dimensions of the package in centimeters (cm) or inches (in). You’ll need three measurements:
    • Length (L): The longest side of the package.
    • Width (W): The shorter side perpendicular to the length.
    • Height (H): The vertical height from the bottom to the top of the package.
  2. Calculate Volume: Calculate the volume of the package by multiplying its length, width, and height:Volume=Length×Width×HeightVolume=Length×Width×Height
  3. Determine Volumetric Weight Factor: The volumetric weight factor varies depending on the unit of measurement used for the dimensions (e.g., cm or in) and the carrier’s specific rules. For example, if using centimeters, the volumetric weight factor is often 5,000 (for express shipments) or 6,000 (for standard shipments).
  4. Calculate Volumetric Weight: Divide the volume of the package by the volumetric weight factor to obtain the volumetric weight:Volumetric Weight=VolumeVolumetric Weight FactorVolumetric Weight=Volumetric Weight FactorVolume​
  5. Compare Weights: Compare the actual weight of the package (in kilograms or pounds) to its volumetric weight. The higher of the two weights is used to determine shipping charges.
  6. Example Calculation: Let’s say you have a package with dimensions:
    • Length (L) = 50 cm
    • Width (W) = 40 cm
    • Height (H) = 30 cm
    Calculate the volume: Volume=50×40×30=60,000 cm3 If the carrier’s volumetric weight factor is 5,000 . Volumetric Weight=60,000/5,000=12 kg . If the actual weight of the package is 10 kg, then the volumetric weight of 12 kg would be used for shipping charges.

By calculating volume weight accurately, you can ensure fair and appropriate shipping charges based on the space your package occupies.

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