We often get asked about how we calculate our prices. Customers might wonder why a large but light package might cost more to send than one that’s smaller but heavier. That’s because the price may be worked out according to the parcel’s volumetric weight.

How much space your parcel takes up in the back of one of our vans can affect the cost of sending it. Space is at a premium for couriers, whether on an aeroplane or in a vehicle and so parcel prices need to take this into account. So, the price you pay can be affected by the amount of space the consignment takes up, as opposed to its actual weight.

So how do we calculate volumetric weight?

The volumetric weight of a consignment is a calculation that reflects the density of a package. A less dense item generally occupies more volume of space, compared to its actual weight. The volumetric weight is calculated and compared with the actual weight of the shipment to determine which is the greater; the higher weight is used as the chargeable weight of the consignment.

The formula for calculating volumetric weight for consignments travelling via our UK APC Overnight parcel network is

• Multiply the parcel’s dimensions in cm: length x width x height (cm)
• Divide by 6000
• The resulting figure is the volumetric weight of your parcel.

If this is greater than the actual weight of your shipment, the volumetric weight will be used to charge for the consignment.

If you’re sending an international parcel, the calculation is the same except that you need to divide by 5000 instead of 6000

• Multiply the parcel’s dimensions in cm: length x width x height (cm)
• Divide by 5000
• The resulting figure is the volumetric weight of your international parcel.

If you’d rather not work all this out, we have a handy tool you can use here or feel free to contact us if you need any advice.