How to calculate CBM & Freight Ton

One of the most common questions i get asked is how to calculate CBM, specially by those clients who get charged per Freight Ton (weight or volume whichever is higher)..

Firstly CBM stands for CuBic Meter.. This is the most common unit used for the measurement of volumetric cargo..

When you have the dimensions of the package, first of all convert the measurement into meters.. Normally dimensions are in Length x Width x Height..

If for example the dimensions are 3.2 x 1.2 x 2.2 meters then the CBM is simply 3.2 x 1.2 x 2.2 = 8.448 cbm..

As mentioned above if the rate is quoted as for example Usd.12/per freight ton and the weight of the package is 1200 kgs = 1.2 tons, then the freight rate for this will be

8.448 cbm x Usd.12 = Usd.101.376 or

1.2 tons x Usd.12 = Usd.14.4

Since the cbm rate is higher, the freight rate of Usd.101.376 will apply..

For easy conversion of anything to anything – pls refer to

image for end of article

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  1. thnks so much abt all inf.above
    Could you pls let me know who can issue SEAWAY bill.
    I used to receive SWB from carrier but never get it from freight forwarder. if so just Carrier can issue SWB? and FWD just issue surrender bill? hope to get your feedback. thnks in advance.

    • Hi Tram,

      depend on Shipping used in that case bcoz of only few shipping lines(CSAV & MOL) are issuing Seaway Bill, but forwarder never issue Seaway Bill they are using express release BL


  2. Dear Herish,

    Many thanks for your g8 help and support for learning about shipping.

    could you please help me in learning of air freight also…………please .?


    sanjeev Dubai.

  3. Hi Hariesh!,

    I would like to know why the shipping lines are charging different rates on demurrage on different occasions, for the same amount of time and same size of container?. Will be of grate help if i can get some light on it.

  4. Pingback: My 1st Million in shipping and freight | Shipping and Freight Resource

  5. Hi I am Manu, working in a freight forwaarding company in Imports Division. The explanation of CBM calculations is highly useful for any one who is in freight forwarding industry. Thank You for your expanations with examples in a simple language.

  6. HI, I am new in the shipping line and wanted to thank you for taking time and effort for keeping a comprehensive below. Its really helpful.

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