Density Calculator

Determining a Shipment's Cubic Footage/Density

Density is one of the factors that determines the freight rate. Shippers need to know how to calculate a shipment's density so they can properly class their goods on the bill of lading.

To properly determine density using this form, measure the height, width, and depth of each piece of the shipment. Measure to the farthest points, including skids or other packaging. Enter the measeurements and corresponding weight(s) for each piece of the shipment. Cu. Ft., Density, and Totals will be calcualted automatically. Measurements must be in inches.

Item Length Width Height Weight Cu. Ft. Density
Cubic Feet
Lbs/Cu Ft

Note: This is only a guideline. If you need more information on how cubic feet and density relate to freight rates, contact your Performance Freight account representitive or contact us for assistance. To see a list of freight classes based on density click here.

Calculating Density Explained

Measure the height, width, and depth of the shipment. Measure to the farthest points, including skids or other packaging. (On shipments with multiple pieces, repeat this step for each piece).

Multiply the three measurements (height x width x depth). The result is the total cubic inches (or feet) of the shipment. (If you have multiple pieces, multiply the height x width x depth for each piece. Take the results for each piece and add them together to get the total cubic inches or feet.)

Divide the total cubic inches by 1,728 (the number of cubic inches in a cubic foot). The result is the cubic feet of the shipment. (If measuring in feet, skip this step.)

Divide the weight (in pounds) of the shipment by the total cubic feet. The result is the pounds per cubic foot, i.e., density. (For multiple pieces, be sure to add the weight of each piece together before dividing by the total cubic feet of the shipment. Round fractions to the nearest full cubic foot number).

For example, if the skid weighs 1,000 pounds with dimensions of 40" x 48" x 48":

  • 1. Multiply 40" x 48" x 48" = 92,160 cubic inches
  • 2. Divide 92,160 by 1,728 = 53.33 cubic feet
  • 3. Divide 1000 pounds by 53.33 cubic feet = 18.75 pounds per cubic feet (PCF), i.e., density

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Performance Freight Systems, Inc.

2040 W. Oklahoma Ave.   Milwaukee, WI 53215
414-385-5440   414-385-5450 (Fax)