When you are having your goods shipped from China by air or express mail like DHL, UPS etc, you will need to know how to calculate the volumetric weight properly.

How to understand the volumetric weight?

For example, if you are shipping 1kg of spoon which is made of steel, then usually the shipping weight is calculated by actual weight 1kg. While if you are shipping 1kg of foam which is really soft and used to take more room, so usually the shipping carrier will calculate 3~4kg as shipping weight. Due to the volumetric weight is bigger.

How to calculate the volumetric weight?

1) First you need to know the exact dimension & gross weight of the parcel.
2) Then multiply the parcel’s 3 dimensions, to be (length x height x width)
3) Then divide the result by 5000 if you are using centimeters. Note that this is for courier shipping. Divide by 6000 for airport shipping.
4) Then compare the volumetric weight to the actual physical weight of the parcel.
5) Then the shipping charge will whichever is bigger.

Example for calculating volumetric weight

Let us take 2 examples, to show you how to calculate the final weight for shipping.

Example #1:

Dimension: 10x20x30cm

Weight: 3kg

Volumetric weight: (10x20x30)/5000=1.2kg

The courier company will take actual weight 3kg as shipping weight.

Example #2:
Dimension: 30x30x30cm
Weight: 3kg
Volumetric weight: (30x30x30)/5000=5.4kg
The courier company will take volumetric weight 5.4 as shipping weight.

This is the link from DHL official website, there is a tool for you to make the calculation easier.
You can follow: https://www.dhl.com/en/tools/volumetric_weight_express.html

What is the difference between courier & airport shipping

Courier shipping means that the parcel will be delivered to your door/house. Courier companies like DHL, UPS, TNT, FedEx etc.
Airport shipping means that the parcel will be delivered to a near airport only, from where you need to arrange customs clearance and bring the goods to your house.
Calculating volumetric weight by courier shipping then divide the dimensions result by 5000 if using centimeters.
Calculating volumetric weight by airport shipping then divide the dimensions result by 6000 if using centimeters.

How to calculate by sea shipping

If I want to send the goods by sea, then how to calculate. As the volume & weight is usually calculated when shipping by LCL.
When going to calculate the sea shipping cost, they always calculate volume only, they do not calculate weight or volumetric weight.


If the dimension is: 30x30x30cm, weight is 10kg.

Then they calculate as (30x30x30)/100000=0.27cbm.

The sea shipping cost will be charged according to the volume 0.27cbm only.

If you still not clear about the volumetric weight calculation, then we are pleased to assist.


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