How to Weigh and Measure Your Load for Shipment


Size matters when you’re talking about freight. Space is limited, and how much it will cost you to ship your freight depends on having the most accurate measurements of your load. If you think you can just eyeball your load and record what you think the load’s measurements are on the bill of lading, think again. Inaccurate measurements — even ones off by a few inches — could cost you a lot. Any discrepancies between what the bill of lading says and the load’s actual measurements can lead to handling problems that could result in damaged goods. It also could increase your costs thanks to delays and unexpected surcharges.

Before shipping your load, you must make sure you have the most accurate measurements you can get. You must take the time to weigh your load — including all packing materials. Weighing your load without the pallets, straps, wrap and other packaging means all of that material will throw off your estimates and lead to trouble. It is essential to measure your load all the way around and understand how to calculate the girth and cubic size of the entire load. If you want to avoid big problems when it’s time to ship your load, use the accompanying guide to make sure you have the most accurate measurements.

Measuring Your Load’s Weight

Be sure to place the entire load on the scale exactly as it will be shipped. This means your load should include the pallet, skids, wrap, straps and anything else that would be included when the shipment is loaded. Any discrepancies between the weight listed on the bill of lading and the load itself can lead to surcharges for re-weighing the load, not to mention potential handling problems.

Measuring Your Load’s Dimensions

There are three measurements you need to take to provide the most accurate dimensions for your load:

  • Length: Measure the longest side of your load and round it up to the nearest inch.
  • Width: Measure the shorter side of your load. Round that up to the nearest inch as well.
  • Height: Measure how tall your load is from the floor to its highest point, rounding up to the nearest inch.

These calculations will be used to determine the following additional measurements:

  • Girth: Multiply the width and height of your load by 2, then add those numbers to get the girth of your load (2H + 2W = Girth).
  • Cubic size: Multiply your load’s length by its height and width to get the load’s cubic size (L X H X W = Cubic Size). is an innovative online marketplace for shipping services. Users can ship anything from household appliances, to living room furniture, to large freight – no matter the size, you can GoShip it.

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