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Air Cargo & Express Costs

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

A Guide to Pricing and Volumetric Weight Calculations


When it comes to shipping, whether by express courier or air freight, understanding how pricing works can be a complex task. Two primary factors play an essential role: the actual weight of the goods and the volumetric weight. This blog post aims to clarify these complexities and guide you in making informed decisions for your shipping needs.


How Pricing Works

Shipping costs are commonly determined by the weight of the goods. The heavier the shipment, the less the price per unit weight, which means you could save money on large shipments. However, the pricing could also be determined by the volume, especially when dealing with bulk goods.


Various elements that influence shipping costs include:

  • Actual weight of the goods

  • Volumetric weight of the goods

  • Destination of the shipment

  • Distance covered during delivery

  • Additional services like door-to-door collection options

Calculating Volumetric Weight

Volumetric Weight, also called Cubic Weight or Dim (dimensional) Weight, is often used by shipping companies to charge for the dimensional weight of a package, i.e., the space that it will take up in transit. The formula to calculate the volumetric weight is simple:


Multiply the parcel's length, height, and width (in centimeters) and then divide the result by 5000 (or 6000, specified by each shipper). The resulting figure is your parcel's volumetric weight in kilograms. In regions where inches and pounds are used, or in instances where individual shipping companies set their own divisors for calculating volumetric weight, the 5000 divisor may not be relevant.


Example: A Lightweight, Bulky Box


Consider a large box of smartphone cases with packaging, which is large but lightweight, measuring 120 cm in length, 90 cm in width, and 60 cm in height.


Its actual weight is just 15 kg, but the courier measures:

Volumetric Weight = (120 cm x 90 cm x 60 cm) / 5000 = 64.8 kg


In this case, despite the actual weight being just 15 kg, the volumetric weight is significantly higher at 64.8 kg. Shipping companies would likely charge based on the volumetric weight since it takes up more space in the transport vehicle, thereby reducing the space available for other goods.


Wrapping Up

Understanding how pricing works in the world of shipping, especially the impact of actual and volumetric weight, can help you make cost-effective decisions. If you are unclear about any aspects or want personalized advice, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are always here to assist you.

If you are sending goods yourself, always consult with your specific shipping provider for the most accurate information.

We hope this guide helps you navigate the complexities of shipping costs. Happy shipping!


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