Calculating Volumetric Weight

Volumetric weight, sometimes called dimensional weight, refers to the amount of space your package occupies on a truck or aircraft while it is being shipped. In other words, volumetric weight is the size—not the weight—of your package. Oftentimes a service will measure both the volumetric weight and the actual weight of a parcel; the bigger of the two numbers is then used to determine the cost of shipping.

How do you calculate volumetric weight?

First you need to determine the length, width and height of your package. The length is always the longest side, while the width is the longer of the remaining two sides. Sometimes the width and height are the same, making them interchangeable.

Once you have those measurements, simply plug them into the following equation:

  • Length x Width x Height (in centimetres) / 5000
  • (rounded up to the nearest 0.5kg)

For example, let’s say you’re shipping a box with a length of 30cm, a width of 25cm, and a height of 15cm. The box’s volumetric weight in kilograms is:

30 x 25 x 15 / 5000 = 2.5kg

Again, many courier services will compare this measurement with the actual weight of the parcel and use the larger one to calculate shipping costs. So if our example package weighs less than 2.5kg, the shipping cost will be based on its volumetric weight. If it weights more than 2.5kg, the shipping cost will be based on its actual weight.

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