What Is CBM In Shipping Terms?
CBM is simply the volume of your shipment. However, the volume is than used for other important international (courier, air or ocean) freight calculations including:
- Dimensional weight (cbm to kg or cft to lbs) – Dimensional weight is a way to create a theoretical number representing bulky but light shipments. For example, a pallet of ping pong bulls would be very light but would take up the same volume on an airplane as a pallet of weights. By calculating the dimensional weight, carriers can determine the…
- Chargeable weight – Chargeable weight is merely the greater of the dimensional weight (aka size) or weight. In other words, while ocean freight pricing is fairly averse to weight and more focused on size, air freight is much more sensitive so the dimensional weight will usually play a more important role than the actual weight.
- Freight class – In the United States, most LTL trucking carriers have also created a theoretical number to compensate truckers for shipping oversized loads. Most products shipped by truck go by simple freight class categories determined by weight. However, CBM can also play a large role in calculating the freight class.
How Many Products Fit In A Container (CBM)?
Knowing your shipment volume is also required when estimating how many products will fit in a 20′ or 40′ ocean shipping container. This time it’s not a simple arithmetic formula of comparing total shipment volume and container maximum capacity, as nearly every time a container is loaded, it’s impossible to use every piece of space.
The amount of unusable space depends on the size and shapes of the items being loaded, on their packaging and also on how the items are stowed. As a rule of thumb, the actual capacity within a container is typically a little over 80% of it’s maximum capacity.
With that in mind, use the following table to get a general estimate of how many products will fit in the four most common sized shipping containers (20′, 40′, 40′ HC and 45′ HC).
|20'||589 cm||234 cm||238 cm||26-28 CBM||33 CBM
|40'||1200 cm||234 cm||238 cm||56-58 CBM||66 CBM
|40' HC (High Cube)||1200 cm||234 cm||269 cm||60-68 CBM||72 CBM
|45' HC (High Cube)||1251 cm||245 cm||269 cm||72-78 CBM||86 CBM