How to Calculate Weights & Sizes for Freight
Follow these measurement directions & simple formulas to find all the weight & size information you need to arrange freight or courier parcel deliveries.
The most important information you can give to a freight or courier driver, aside from the destination and pick-up point, are the size and weight of what you need delivered.
Depending on what you’re sending, where or how you’re sending it – whether it’s in a shipping container, truck, courier van or satchel – there are a couple of different ways of measuring size and weight of your freight
In this post we explain the most common ways of measuring the size and weight of items for freight or courier delivery, as well as how to work out those measurements easily.
Measuring size for any item is actually fairly straightforward. There are just three measurements you need to make: length, width and height. When making the measurements, the most important things to keep in mind are:
- The length measurement needs to be taken where the item is longest.
- The width measurement needs to be taken where the item is widest. It’s also important that this measurement is made 90 degrees to the length measurement (i.e. forming a cross).
- Height: needs to measure from the bottom of the item to its highest point (including the pallet or skid the items are on).
Measurements are to always be made in meters. Each item must also be measured and weighed separately to ensure accurate details are provided for the consignment.
The actual weight of an item – also sometimes less generously referred to as gross weight or even deadweight – is probably the easiest thing about the item to measure.
An accurate measurement can be made with any suitable scale. Weight should always be measured in Kg’s.
Volumetric weight, also called dimensional weight or cubic weight, is a slightly misleading term.
It’s actually not a measurement of how much something does weigh, but is rather the maximum it is allowed to weigh for its size in order to be transported.
This particular measurement is based on the idea that the amount of weight an item can take up compared to the total amount of weight a vehicle can carry should be no more than the amount of space it takes up compared to the total amount of space in the vehicle.
To calculate the cubic weight you will need to know the height, width and length of your item. To find these measurements for any shape, use the guidelines in the “Size” section above.
If you’ve measured in cm or mm, you’ll need to convert the measurements to metres in order to work out the volumetric weight.
The formula for volumetric weight is:
length x width x height x 250 or 333 = Volumetric weight
Multiplying the product of the length, width and height by 250 or 333 (depending on your rates) is an important step to making sure your final number is converted to kilograms.
So for example, if your item is 0.5 metres long, 0.4 metres wide and 0.3 metres high, the volumetric weight would be:
0.5 x 0.4 x 0.3 x 250 (or 333) = 15kg (or 20kg)
Freight and courier drivers rely on knowing the sizes and weights of their cargo to be able to plan and carry out deliveries as safely and efficiently as possible. In addition, giving the correct size and weight information helps us provide you with an accurate quote, delivery time, and allows us to allocate an appropriate vehicle for transportation.