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    How to calculate CBM - CBM Calculator

    How to calculate CBM? | Learn everything about CBM in shipping

    CBM - Meaning

    CBM or Cubic Metersw is one of the most predominantly used units of measurement of cargo transports globally. CBM measurement is a vital process of transporting shipments and air cargo since the overall transportation cost depends heavily on it. Today, there are various CBM calculators available online that help manufacturers measure their package in terms of cubic meters by easily converting different units into the standard ones.

    Determining the right container size for your consignment helps you move your goods effectively. For this, it’s pertinent to know how many CBM you can store in a container.

    Calculating CBM for logistics

    Generally, one needs to calculate the CBM of the consignment as well as the container. Here’s how to calculate the different CBM values needed for cargo transportation:

    CBM for packages

    Calculating the CBM for your product is very easy. Just pack it neatly into a cubical/cuboidal box to map the dimensions accurately. Once done, measure the box’s length, width and height in meters. If you have taken measurements in a unit other than meters, it’s advisable to convert it first and then proceed to calculate the CBM.

    When you have all the three measurements, multiply them and you’ll get the CBM value of your package.

    For example, the formula to calculate CBM would go as follows:-

    How to calculate CBM

    How do you convert KG to CBM?

    Considering an assumption, kg (of mass) to CBM (of volume) - the SI derived unit for volume is the cubic meter.

    How to convert KG to CBM

    Note: Rounding errors may occur, so always check the results according to your apt figures.

    How do you calculate CBM in inches?

    1 inch is 0.0254 meters. So if the individual measurement of your package is in inches, make sure you multiply each one of them with 0.0254, and then proceed to calculate the CBM.

    However, if you have already measured your package in terms of cubic inches, no need to go back and convert the individual dimensions again. Just use the formula given below to convert cubic inches to cubic meters.

    How do you calculate CBM in inches

    How many CBM in a pallet?

    Pallets are the small wooden platforms upon which packages are stacked up inside the containers so that the goods suffer from no damage during their movement.

    How many CBM in a pallet

    How do you calculate CBM chargeable weight?

    While shipping goods, it often happens that a relatively light package takes up much more space than a heavier yet a smaller one. Hence, if the shipping company levies the charges on both the packages based on their actual weight, the bigger yet lighter package would not be profitable to ship, since it occupies more space and weighs little.

    To be able to solve this problem, companies use the concept of CBM chargeable weight. To understand chargeable weight, we first have to understand the following terms:

    1. Actual Weight: Actual weight is the gross weight of the package that is to be shipped.

    2. Dimensional/ Volumetric Weight: Once the CBM value of the package is known, multiply it with the Dimensional Weight Factor, or “DIM factor” based on the method of transportation, to get the Dimensional or Volumetric Weight of the package.

    The highest value between the two is taken into account by the company to charge the shipment. This method is known as the chargeable weight.

    How to calculate CBM for sea shipment/ocean freight?

    For ocean freights, the estimation factor for calculating the volumetric weight is generally 1:1000 -- one cubic meter is equal to about 1000 kilograms.

    How to calculate CBM for air shipment/ air freight?

    In air cargo transportation, the estimation factor for calculating the volumetric weight is generally 1:167, -- one cubic meter is equal to about 167 kilograms.

    Types of containers and their CBMs

    Standard containers are generally available in 3 sizes- 20ft, 40ft, and 45ft and the dimensions for the variants are as follows:

    20ft Container CBM

    • 20′ Dry Container : 33.0 cbm (Dimensions l:5919 mm, w:2340 mm, h:2380 mm, Weight: 1900 kg)
    • 20′ Reefer Container : 27.5 cbm (Dimensions l:5428 mm, w:2266 mm, h:2240 mm)
    • 20′ Open Top Container : 31.6 cbm (Dimensions l:5919 mm, w:2340 mm, h:2286 mm)
    • 20′ Flat Rack Container : (Dimensions l:5662 mm, w:2438 mm, h:2327 mm)
    • 20′ Collapsable Flat Rack Container : (Dimensions l:5946 mm, w:2126 mm, h:2233 mm)
    • 20′ Open Side/Open Top Container : 31.0 cbm (Dimensions l:5928 mm, w:2318 mm, h:2259 mm)

    40 ft Container CBM

    • 40′ Dry Container : Dimensions : 67.3 cbm (Dimensions l:12045 mm, w:2309 mm, h:2379 mm)
    • 40′ High Cube Dry Container : 76.0 cbm (Dimensions l:12056 mm, w:2347 mm, h:2690 mm)
    • 40′ Reefer Container : 54.9 cbm (Dimensions l:11207 mm, w:2246 mm, h:2183 mm)
    • 40′ High Cube Reefer Container : 66.9 cbm (Dimensions l:11628 mm, w:2294 mm, h:2509 mm)
    • 40′ Open Top Container : 64.0 cbm (Dimensions l:12043 mm, w:2340 mm, h:2272 mm)
    • 40′ Flat Rack Container : (Dimensions l:12080 mm, w:2438 mm, h:2103 mm)
    • 40′ Collapsable Flat Rack Container : (Dimensions l:12080 mm, w:2126 mm, h:2043 mm)

    45 ft Container CBM

    • 45′ High Cube Dry Container : 85.7 cbm (Dimensions l:13582 mm, w:2347 mm, h:2690 mm)
    • 45′ High Cube Reefer Container : 75.4 cbm (Dimensions l:13102 mm, w:2294 mm, h:2509 mm)

    Calculating CBM in Garments

    The fashion industry is one of the most frequent users of both air as well as ocean freight routes to transport raw materials, equipment, and final products across the world. While exporting garments, companies pack them up in cartons that are smartly designed not to take up a lot of space, and easily stacked on top of each other.

    Once the garments are packed in standard cartons, calculating their CBM becomes very easy. Just putting the accurate measures of all the dimensions in the below formula would give you the total CBM for your package.

    Length of the carton (m) X Breadth of the carton (m) X Height of the carton (m) X Number of cartons in the package = Total CBM of the package

    Vanita D'souza
    Vanita D'souza
    Communications Manager at Drip Capital
    6 min read