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An Overview of Shipping Container Loading Calculation

Everyone wants their shipping containers to be delivered to the required destination on time and in good condition. How a container is loaded has a lot to do with whether it will arrive at its destination safely and securely.

First, the container must be examined for any signs of pre-existing damage. Many accidents with shipping containers occur because the shipping entity didn’t check for damage beforehand.

Next, you’ll need to take the appropriate steps to avoid potential container damage and damage to the contents inside of it during transit. These steps will require implementing specific container loading calculation strategies to ensure items are packed inside the container securely and safely.

What is Container Loading Calculation?

You cannot just throw items into a shipping container and expect them to remain safe during transit. Loading your shipping container involves packing your items securely with high-quality packaging materials, stuffing, ropes, and cables.

Furthermore, you must plan the load by calculating the number of items that can fit inside your chosen shipping container. Measure the weight and dimensions of the shipping container and all the items that will go inside it. Knowing this information will make it easier to load the containers safely.

Container loading calculation is about understanding the concepts of weight distribution and weight capacity within a shipping container. Since you’ll want to consolidate and utilise as much space within your containers as possible, you’ll need to calculate how you can evenly distribute weight throughout the container to keep the load safe and balanced.

Consolidation and weight balancing are the two critical factors for maximising load space while maintaining the safety of your items. Shipping container companies are not responsible for packing and consolidating the load inside the container. It is up to you as the customer to load the container the way you want.

Therefore, your shipping container load calculations must factor in the quantity of the items, dimensions of the items (in feet, meters, inches, etc.), and description of the items. This information is not only for your benefit but also for the benefit of the shipping carrier.

After all, if your load contains hazardous materials, the shipping carrier needs to know to protect the safety of their property and workers. So it is a team effort between the carrier and customer to ensure the proper safety precautions get made.

Getting Started with Your Container Loading Calculations

All your container loading calculations need to be made before you actually load your items into a container. Each calculation is like a simulation of placing and storing goods in a container for transport. You must factor in the weight, size, and dimensions of your items to calculate the safest way of storing them in the container.

Containers in Bassendean, Perth

Here are the basic steps:

1) Measuring the Load Items

Most people will fill their shipping containers with cases or boxes of items. Take individual measurements of these loads, such as the length, weight, height, and weight of each box or case. Write down the following details about your items:

  • Length, width, and height of each box or case
  • The total number of packages
  • A description of the items
  • The weight of each package
  • The total weight of all the packages combined

Cubic meter measurements are commonly used when calculating container loads. The basic formula for calculating cubic meters is as follows:

Length * Width * Height * 35.315 = Cubic Meters of Loaded Item

Would you prefer to calculate the load items’ measurements in inches? Here is the formula for that:

Length * Width * Height * 1728

Now compare the container size to the total cubic meters or inches of the load items.

2) Measuring the Container Dimensions

Does the container have enough cubic foot capacity to store all these items? That is why you need to measure the dimensions of various container types to see which can hold your load items.

Containers come in many different sizes. However, most containers sold or leased are 20 or 40 feet long. In addition, it might have a width of 5 feet and a height of 10 feet. That means a 20-foot-long shipping container would be 1,000 cubic feet (20’ * 10’ * 5’), which is the amount of storage space available.

Of course, not every 20 or 40-foot shipping container will have the exact same dimensions all around. Each manufacturer gives their containers a different size, at least to some degree. That is why you need to research the containers beforehand by finding out the exact dimensions and weight capacity of the container you’re interested in leasing or buying.

In most cases, a 20 or 40-foot shipping container will have a maximum cargo weight capacity between 28,000 and 28,800 kilograms. The cargo weight capacity of your shipping container may be slightly different. But this should give you a rough idea of how much cargo a standard-size container can hold.

3) Use Computer Software to Make Loading Calculations

Some fantastic container loading software applications are available to help you make loading calculations easier. All you have to do is measure the dimensions and weight of your load and plug the numbers into the software. Then you will see a 3D real-time visualisation of your load inside the container.

This 3D visualisation technology helps you figure out how to position the load inside the container perfectly. That way, you can avoid potential shipping hazards and complications during transit. We recommend you get the best container loading software on the market to help you simplify the load calculation process.


The good news is that you don’t have to do everything yourself. Take advantage of the professional load supervisors and specialists who are available for hire to assist you. They can help you maximize the internal storage space of your container without risking damage to your load.

Container loading supervision prevents unnecessary accidents and provides an educational experience to you in the process. Contact a professional container transport company for more information on this container load supervisory service. If you need a shipping container transported in Perth call the experts at Executive Tilt Tray Services on 0400 738 658 or visit Container Transport Perth

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