Cubic Capactiy Rules

The size of your total shipment is something you must keep an eye on. Even when you are LTL shipping, it is important to know about the carrier’s cubic capacity rule. This type of rule gets enforced on most major carriers when you are shipping over 12 linear feet as LTL. When your cargo surpasses certain space (usually 750 cubic feet) and density (about 6 pounds per cubic foot), a cubic capacity rules go into effect. Your freight forwarder should work with you to spot the cubic capacity rules of every carrier. Otherwise, if these rules are broken, steep penalties could follow, including possible additional fines worth thousands of dollars.

Determining the density of your shipment requires some calculation. For example, if your pallets eclipse a width of 48”, they will be calculated at 96” in the cubic capacity rule. The minimum charge is typically calculated by multiplying the weight by the applicable class 150 rate from either your base rates or from the most current UPGF 560 Series or UPGF 525 Series class rate tariff. That is why this is important to know if you are shipping over 12 linear feet as LTL and exceed the cubic capacity rule. Some carriers have even strict rules for exceeding cubic capacity, such as Estes with 250 cubic feet for freight under 6 pounds per cubic foot and Old Dominion with 350 cubic feet for freight under 3 pounds per cubic foot. Having a trusted freight forwarder can make a big difference if you surpass the cubic capacity rule and you want to ship your products smoothly. Make sure you consult with them so you can best avoid any issues and ensure that your shipment reaches its destination safely and on schedule.