You can do a realistic estimation of your gross volume and avoid ‘cube shock’ by following the below guidelines:

  • Find out the weight/measurement of what you plan to ship BEFORE you go ahead. This includes doing the math: writing down the total OUTSIDE dimensions of your cargo.
  • Write down all your information including the exact three (3) dimensions and approximate weight of every piece, every case, box, barrel, pallet, crate, or other shipping unit being used for the goods.
  • Know how to calculate volume in cubic feet and cubic meters. 1 cubic foot is 1728 cubic inches. Volume in CFT is calculated using the formula L x W x H / 1728. 1 cubic meter is 35.315 cubic feet. Tip: One quick and easy way to measure volume if you are only shipping boxes is stack the boxes on top of each other in generally square shape in a corner of your room and take the total outside measurements.
  • Let us know if you would like for us to do a pre-move survey. We do pre-move surveys in most locations for FCL shipments and in some locations even for LCL shipments larger than 200 CFT.
  • Here are some items that are typically found in a house as we perform a pre-move survey. You can use this information to calculate your net volume.

Anteroom: side table 5cft, umbrella stand 4 cft, small mirrors – pictures @ 1cft each, coat rack 7cft, side chair 7 cft, arm chair 12 cft, round wood table 15cft, table lamp 5cft, small lamp 2cft, standing lamp 6fct, misc papers – packed into book cartons @ 2cft each, decor – packed into dishpack carton 6cft.

… a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 72-cuft

Living Room: sofa 60cft, loveseat 40cft, 2 side tables 20cft, end table 10cft, coffee table 15cft, upholstered arm chair 20cft, lounger upholstered chair 35cft, regular arm chair 12cft, side chair no arms 6cft, sectional sofa in 5 parts 120cft, magazine rack 2cft, ottoman 6cft, medium bookcase 20cft, 3-part bookcase 60cft, wall mirrors 4cft, secretary desk 30cft, 3-pc. entertainment/display center 120cft, smaller rugs 3cft, 8×10′ rug 10cft, large area rugs 25cft, flowers/decor 5cft, metal stand 5cft, standing lamps 7cft, med. table lamps 5cft, statuettes/figurines packed into dishpack carton 6cft, larger statues/ceramics 10cft

… a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 596-cuft

Dining Room: table – legs off including extra leaves 25cft, 4 side chairs 30cft, 2 arm chairs 25 cft, china cabinet 35cft, one full set of china packed into 3 dishpack cartons 18cft, misc serving platters packed into medium “linen” cartons 4cft, two shelves of linen filling up one “linen” carton 4cft, wooden bureaus/cabinet 35cft

… a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 176-cuft

Kitchen: med. table 15cft, 4 med. chairs 20cft, pail 5cft, average dishes into 2 dishpacks 12cft, ave. pots/pans- misc sm. appliances into 3 linen cartons 12cft, stools 5cft, misc food/spices into 4-5 book cartons 10cft.

… a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 79-cuft

Bathroom(s): plastic pail 4cft, misc toiletries – curtains – mats – scale into 3 book cartons 6cft

… a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 10-cuft

Hallway: rugs – runners 3-6cft, sideboard tables 15cft, corner display stands 20cft, pictures into 1 bookcarton 2cft

… a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 43-cuft

Study: office desk setup 35cft, swivel chair 10cft, upholstered armchair 20cft, 4-drawer file cabinet 20cft, misc papers – books – records into 10 bookcartons 20cft, medium sized library of 200-250 books into 10-15 bookcartons 30cft, vases/decor into dishpack 6cft, wall photos – diplomas 1cft each

… a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 142-cuft

Master Bedroom: king size bed 70cft, queen bed -all parts 60cft, full bed 50cft, twin beds 25cft, 2 night tables 20cft, med. bureau 20cft, larger bureau 35cft, large armoire 60cft, med footlocker 10cft, ave clothes – one adult packed into 6 linen cartons 24cft, two wardrobe cartons 20cft, 3 bookcartons misc 6cft.

… a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 400-cuft

Childrens Bedroom(s): crib 20cft, changer 15cft, plastic stools – toys – stacking units ave 20cft, pampers & infant supplies ave 30cft.

… a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 85-cuft

Basement / Garage / Backyard: exersize machine disassembled 20cft, adult bicycle 10cft, childrens bikes 5cft, bar unit 45cft, stools 7cft, outdoor grill 20cft, ski set 10cft, tennis 5cft, golf set 10ft, mower 15cft, garden hoes – brooms etc 10cft, medium ladder 10cft, large steamer trunk 20cft, medium footlocker 12cft, tool chest 10cft, outdoor furniture – picnic table 30cft, wooden benches 8cft.

… a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 247-cuft

Major appliances & electronics: med refrigerator 40cft, large double fridge 60cft, clothes & dish washer 25cft each, clothes- drier 25cft, small tv 4cft, med tv 7 cft, larger tv 15cft, vcr 3cft, personal computer setup 15cft, kitchen cookers etc 5cft, fax – printer 4cft, phone gadgets 2cft, med stereo cabinet 15cft, mini satellite disk 10cft, home base outdoor satellite dish 60cft.

… a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 290-cuft

Just for context, adding the volume of all these sample items comes to 2,140-cubic feet. One completely full 40-foot container-load.

Besides standard 20-ft and 40-ft ocean containers, there are also what are called high-cube 40-ft containers which are 9-feet tall, and can accommodate approx. 2350-cubic feet volume of household goods.

LCL shippers, please note that big items such as mattresses of furniture cannot be stacked on pallets. They may require liftvans which can be a little more expensive due to the extra volume they take up on account of their outside dimensions, wooden crating and special handling requirements.

Write down a list of items you want to ship and send this information to us so that we can give you a firm, realistic estimate. LCL shipments are unlike an entire “exclusive use” ocean container, where it is possible fill it up with as much – or as little – cargo as needed. LCL shipments are measured, and the cost for international transport is based on how big or how small the total measurement actually is. If you decide to add items to your LCL shipment, it will affect the final gross dimensions that are noted after all the goods are packed/palletized (and crated) for export.

We recommend that you be deliberative in what you plan to take with you; travel light if necessary. Separate the “superfluous items” from those to be definitely shipped. Consider: is it really necessary?

If you are not sure if you should “take it or not?”, feel free to let us know and we will help you. Be sure to send us an email with your list and any questions.

Remember: We cannot guess at what you plan to ship. We need for you to give us the information. Hopefully correct information.