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Freight from the USA

How big is a cubic meter? What's the shipping volume?

Above is the Real-time U.S. LCL online freight price calculator. It allows you to calculate shipping costs for transporting goods from the United States of America by sea at no time.

International sea freight costs are typically calculated by volume in cubic meters or feet rather than by weight.   

A Cubic meter is the standard unit of volume in international cargo transportation. However, shipping goods from the USA overseas may correspond with cubic feet.

One cubic meter is equal to approximately 35 cubic feet. See the picture to figure out how big the cubic meter is.

Shipping cargo LCL
  • A cubic meter is a volume that your packed goods can fill in a space limited by one meter wide, one meter in length, and one meter in height, OR ~ by 39" wide, 39" in length, and 39" in height.
  • One metric meter ~ 3.28 metrical feet
  • One cubic meter ~ 35 cubic feet

Regarding international cargo transportation, the volume of one cubic meter is quite large. If you're shipping goods from the USA in boxes, you can fit many shipping boxes of different sizes in a volume of one cubic meter.

Look at the picture. Imagine how many shipping boxes you can fit into one cubic meter. Click on it to watch a video on YouTube and see the volume containing just one cubic meter.

Ship boxes by cubic meter

If shipping goods from the USA LCL, intentional freight rates are calculated in cubic meters or cubic feet. It means that in sea freight shipping, as a rule, the weight of shipping goods is not a pricing factor. Most of the time, you can disregard the weight of shipping goods.

However, freight rates in the ground parts of transportation are calculated per kilo or lbs in multimodal international cargo transportation by sea.

Cubic meter in LCL freight shipping

Shipping freight LCL is the most economical way to deliver a relatively large cargo from the United States overseas. The advantage of shipping goods LCL is that typically, the cargo's weight in shipping LCL freight is not a pricing factor*.

*Does not apply if you ship extremely heavy cargo when the density of transporting goods exceeds a density limit assigned to a particular routing. However, if you ship regular commodities, then the weight of the cargo shouldn't exceed the density limit.

In other words, unlike with international shipping of parcels or airfreight, freight rates in LCL shipping depend on the cargo volume, not the weight per cubic meter (or cubic feet in the USA), but not the weight of the load in kilograms or pounds. As cargo is delivered at sea freight carriers' freight terminals (called CFS - Container Freight Station), international shippers should not worry about the weight of the load. If utilizing LCL freight, the weight of shipping goods is not a pricing factor.

On our website, you can find more about a cubic meter in shipping cargo from the U.S. abroad. 


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