Here Is How To Convert Cubic Meters To Pallet Spots

international shipping companies

A Common Issue for Shippers

Every day the shipping quote team at ShipCanada receives quote requests from shippers looking to move imported freight that they do not have the full dimensions on.   For example, someone may call in in saying they have 3.25 CBM (Cubic Meters) that they need to ship from Vancouver, B.C. to Toronto, ON.

Below is a formula you can use to determine the actual dimensions of freight from a "practicle shipping" perspective based on a shipper wanting to ship 3.25 CBM.

Here is what we know

Most shippers know that a "standard pallet spot" is 48" x 40" x 48".   This actually translates into 92,160 cubic inches (48*40*48 = 92160).

Since most freight moves on a "Standard Pallet" (48" x 40") we already know "2" of the dimensions "48" & 40".   If you multiply these together you get 1920 square inches.

Convert Cubic Meters (CBM) to Cubic Feet

Since everything else we are doing is in imperial measurements, we will convert the Cubic Meters into Cubic feet by multiplying by 35.3.   I.E. 3.25 * 35.3 = 114.72 Cubic Feet.

Multiply the Cubic Feet by 1728

Now that we know the cubic feet we can multiply by 1728 to get overall measurement relative to a "Standard Pallet" So. 114.72 * 1728 = 198236.16

Now divide by the "Standard Pallet" Dims.

Now you can take the large calculated number above and divide it by the "standard pallet dims of 1920" i.e. 198236.16 / 1920   This gives us a height of 103.24"

Now we decide the height

Basically, now we know know we have a pallet that is 48" x 40" x 103.24".   However, we also know that this may be too high for the truck (many are max height 96") so we can divide the height and make "2" pallets. i.e. the answer is 2 pallets 48" x 40" x 52"

Heres is the Cole's Notes verions

  • 3.25 CBM * 35.3
  • Multiply answer by 1728
  • Divide this answer by 1920
  • Now you have the height of a 48" x 40" pallet
  • Decide how to divide the height over multiple "standard" pallets.

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