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An Overview of Consolidation Shipments and How to Perform Volume Calculations

Before we explain volume calculations in consolidation shipments, let’s look at the definition of consolidation.

What are consolidation shipments in shipping?

Consolidation shipments are the display of piecemeal, small and partial goods or cargo by combining them on a single bill of lading. Any of the sea, air or land vehicles can be used for consolidation transportation. It provides economic options to the sender as it shares the transportation costs. Combining the loads and sending them under a single bill of lading prevents paperwork density and complexity, especially during the customs clearance processes. This saves time and work for the sender.

How Can You Make Volume Calculations in Consolidation Shipments?

Consolidation shipments can be made by different vehicles, so consolidation volumes and costs due to volumes are calculated differently with different factors. Freight can be defined as the groupage transportation fee requested for the period from the delivery of the cargo to the receiver and delivery. The fee to be requested varies according to the distance, route, and amount of cargo.

Consolidation Load Calculation Methods

Consolidation is a fee calculation method based on the size of the area covered by the load. The area covered by the load is defined as a “loading meter” according to the international standard. The length of the parameter defined according to the standard is fixed. One parameter corresponds to a load of 1750 kilograms.

Consolidation calculates the fare in terms of volume of road transport. The loads calculated in volume are generally valid for bulk cargoes to be transported in parcels. The volume of loads is calculated in cubic meters. As with the loading meter, there is an international standard measurement for volume calculation. It is fixed at one cubic meter (m3) equals 333 kilograms.

In maritime transport, a different fee calculation criterion is used. In this scenario, one cubic meter (m3) does not equal 333 kilograms. It is standardized as 1 cubic meter (m3) equals 1 ton in sea transport.

The standard based on air transport is 1 cubic meter (m3) equals167 kg.

The general formulation for all types of transport is as follows:

Length x width x height = weight of the load in cubic meters (m3).

When to consolidate your cargo

This is important if you are buying small amounts of products from different suppliers and if each supplier doesn’t have enough orders to fill a container. At every origin port, your logistic provider can offer a consolidation service where they can club various suppliers’ products into a full container load (FCL). This way, you can avoid shipping LCL (see below to learn why LCL is costly) and you can maximize your container load.

Sometimes, it is beneficial to ask one of your suppliers to truck the goods to a different location where you have the most cargo shipping and consolidate with those. While you are paying extra on trucking costs, you might save big on ocean costs by avoiding LCL loads. Your forwarder, such as MTS Logistics, can always guide you with overall freight cost calculation.

Onur Akarca
Onur Akarca
Onur was born and raised in Turkey, where he got his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. Onur worked as a Logistic Manager for a garment importing company for 10 years before joining MTS. He has been working in sales at MTS Logistics since February 2008. Having been on the other side as a logistics manager for a garment importing company helps him to understand what customers need from a logistics partner, especially for time sensitive cargoes like garment. Fun Fact: Onur loves skiing and soccer!

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