What is volumetric weight and how to calculate it? Small parcel & Big Parcel calculation

By Cyndy - August 10, 2020

One of the most common questions when planning a shipment with GIMworld is how the shipping fee charged. For small parcel, it can be confusing to see that a regular sized but heavy parcel may be cheaper to ship internationally than a larger but lighter parcel. Meanwhile, sometimes you could receive a quote for one size of box that is a similar price to another box of different dimensions.

This issue comes about because there are two separate values that your shipment may be charged on; the actual weight and the volumetric weight. That means that, depending on the weight that your courier chooses to charge you on, the chargeable weight of your package, the price of your shipping may change.


What is Volumetric weight?

Volumetric weight, also known as dimensional weight, which uses an estimated weight that is calculated from the length, width and height of a parcel. It is to invoice for the actual space that a parcel, package or pallet takes up in a vehicle or storage area. The shipping costs can be affected by the amount of space that it occupies on an freight craft, rather than the actual weight.

For example, a larger but lighter package, volumetric weight will be often used to calculate the shipping costs. Lightweight articles long before it reaches its capacity in weight, a vehicle can quickly become full of bulky which makes for inefficient use of space. Therefore, overall weight can be charged according to the space of the parcel take up. This is so called volumetric weight.

Small parcel calculation (Sea Small/Air)

To calculate volumetric weight, the length, width, and height of the parcel is required. For air shipping or sea shipping small parcel shipping method, it is calculated in KG while the chargeable weight is actual weight or volumetric weight, whichever is higher will be taken as shipping fees.

Formula : Length (L) cm x Width (W) cm x Height (H) cm / 6,000 = ___KG

This is why, when many of you asked for a quote, GIMworld often requires the size of your parcel. However, you are now know that what your parcel’s volumetric weight is, you can compare the actual weight and volumetric weight. Most of courier companies will do the same, and select the weight that is higher. If the volumetric weight is significantly higher than the actual weight, then this could lead a large discrepancy in the expected price against the actual price.

Big parcel calculation (Sea Big)

For sea shipping big parcel shipping method, it is calculated in M3.

Formula : Length (L) cm x Width (W) cm x Height (H) cm / 1,000,000 = ___M3

It’s simple to work out which value you will be charged on. By understanding how the formula works, you can make sure that you are getting the best price possible, as you can make changes in the size or weight of your package to ensure that you are paying the price that you would like to pay.

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