CBM is a very common unit of measure in sea, air and road freight. The fastest way to calculate the weight of an item to be shipped is to convert it to CBM. So what is the Cubic meter (cbm) and how to calculate the Cubic meter (cbm) in import and export, please refer to the following article with HP Global.

## What is the Cubic number (cmb) in freight?

Cubic number – CBM – Volume ( symbol: m3 – cubic meter) is a unit used to measure the volume of goods to be transported by sea, air and road.

On the other hand, the block number (cbm) is relied upon to calculate the freight.

**Example**: Quotation of LCL retail goods

POL: Shenzhen
POD: HPH |
>1cbm
1~3cbm 3~5cbm 5~15cbm |
$9/RT
$7/RT $5/RT $2/RT |

So, if your goods have a weight of 2cbm, the freight = 7USD excluding other fees.

For ease of calculation, carriers often convert from CBM to Kg. |

## How many CBMs can one Container hold?

The maximum capacity of 1 container can hold how many CBMs? Please refer to the table below.

Container type |
Longs |
Width |
Height |
Capacity |
Max |

Cont 20 | 589 cm | 234 cm | 238 cm | 26-28 CBM | 33 CBM |

Cont 40 | 1200 cm | 234 cm | 238 cm | 56-58 CBM | 66 CBM |

Cont 40 ′ HC | 1200 cm | 234 cm | 269 cm | 60-68 CBM | 72 CBM |

Cont 45 ′ HC | 1251 cm | 245 cm | 269 cm | 72-78 CBM | 86 CBM |

*⇒ Read more about container sizes here: *

## Convert CBM to kg?

The specific conversion rates by air, by road, and by sea are as follows:

Transportation |
CBM |
Kg |

Air | 1 | 167 kg |

Road | 1 | 333 kg |

Sea | 1 | 1000 kg |

## How to calculate CBM

**Formula to calculate cbm in cm (centimeter):**

**CBM = [ (L x Width x Height) /1,000,000 ] x Quantity**

Example: Your shipment includes: 10 boxes, packed in 35cm long, 55cm wide and 20cm high. Applying the formula, we have: [ (35 x 55 x 20) / 1,000,000] x 10 = 0.3CBM

**Formula to calculate cbm in meters (Meter):**

**CBM = (Length x Width x Height) x Quantity**

For example: Your shipment includes: 10 boxes, packed in 1.5m long, 2m wide and 2.5m high. Apply the formula: (1.5 x 2 x 2.5) x 10 = 75cbm

**Formula to calculate total CBM:**

**Length x Width x Height x Number of pieces =CBM; Volume of 1 package: Length x Width x Height = CBM**

For example: 10 bales, 2m long, 0.5m wide, 4m high. Apply to calculate the total volume of goods: 2 x 0.5 x 4 x 10= 40CBM

**Convert weight from CBM to weight kg:**

Weight (kg) x number of bales = 900 x 5 = 4000 Kg.

## Why need to convert CBM to KG?

Converting from CBM to kg for goods in import and export is to help the carrier calculate the most reasonable shipping cost for all items. With the general conversion from cbm to kg, when shipping for shipments of 2 or more types, you will not suffer a loss.

For example, you need to transport diapers, diapers, dry napkins, etc. These items are often bulky and take up space but weigh little. As for the items that account for the weight, such as porcelain, glassware, machinery, etc.

Therefore, the carrier usually converts from cbm to kg. Then compare the 2 units of measure, the dimensional weight (converted weight) and the actual weight to see which is higher to calculate the shipping fee.

## How to calculate CBM with air freight (air)

- 1 CBM = 147 kg (by air.)
- So if you need to ship a shipment of 10 packages.
- Size: 130cm x 100cm x 90.
- Weight: 45kg.

>> So actual weight: 45 x 10 = 450kg. (Weight (kg) x number of bales)

**CBM weight:** 1.3m x 1m x 0.9m = 1.17 CBM * 167 = 195.39 kg. (length x width x height; meters)

So the actual weight is greater than the volumetric weight. **Then take the actual weight to calculate the shipping fee.**

*>> Read more: How to calculate chargeable weight for air freight shipments*

## How to calculate CBM with sea shipping

- Shipment with 10 pieces:
- Size of 1 piece: 150cm x 110cm x 160cm.
- Weight of 1 piece: 700kgs.

**B1:** Total weight of shipment = 700kg x 10 bales = 7000kg

**B2:** Volume of each bale

Volume of one bale = 1.5m x 1m x 1.6m = 2.4 cbm (m3)

Total volume of goods: 10 x 2.4 cbm = 24 cbm.

**B3: **Volumetric weight of the shipment.

**Sea shipment volumetric weight constant = 1000 kgs / cbm.**

Volumetric Weight= 24 cbm x 1000 kgs/ cbm = 24000 kgs.

**B4:** Please compare the total weight of the goods with the weight of the volume of the goods. Which number is larger, choose to charge according to that number.

As calculated above, the total weight is 7000 kg. And the volumetric weight is 24000 kg.

Comment volumetric weight > actual weight so you should use 24000 kgs volumetric weight to calculate shipping charges.

## How to calculate Road freight CBM (Road)

- Road shipment with 10 pieces:
- Size of 1 piece: 130cm x 100cm x 150cm.
- Weight of 1 piece: 860kg

Thus, the total weight of 10 bales: 8,600 kg.

**Calculate the volumetric weight of the shipment.**

Calculate CBM as follows:

Package size in cm has 130cm x 100cm x 150cm.

Dimensions of the bales in meters: 1.3m x 1m x 1.5m

Volume of 1 bale = 1.3m x 1m x 1.5m = 1.95 cbm

Total volume of shipment with 10 bales: 10 x 1.95 cbm = 19.5 cbm

**Road shipment volumetric weight constant = 333 kgs / cbm**

Volumetric Weight or Volumetric Weight= 19.5 cbm x 333 kgs/ cbm = 6493.5 kgs

Compare gross weight with volumetric weight. Which number is larger, use that number for the calculation of freight. We see that 6493.5 kgs is used to calculate the billable weight of a shipment consisting of 10 packages.

**Conclude:**

**The cost of transporting a shipment may be affected by the space it occupies on the vehicle, rather than the actual weight.** That is why it is necessary to convert from CBM to kg when transporting from land, air or road; to minimize losses incurred by the carrier when transporting a variety of goods of different nature.

Hope the above article gives you useful information and can help you better understand how to calculate the number of blocks for transported goods. From there, you can calculate the cost of freight for your goods. If you need to comment or discuss more related content with HP Global, we hope you can contact us via Hotline: 088 611 5726 (zalo) or send an email to info@hptoancau.com!

Thank you for your interest in our articles!

Source: Compilation

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