The term cube rate refers to the method used for computing the cost of shipment. This type of freight rate is based on the volume of the cargo, as opposed to its weight.
Freight rates are computations for the cost of delivering cargo from its point of origin to its destination. They are dependent on the classification of the actual cargo, the distance between the two locations, and the modes of transportation to be used. The volume of a package or cargo is always an important consideration–it will determine how the object will be stored and which vehicles may be used for its delivery.
However, computation on the basis of weight is also used quite often, particularly in air freight. Since airplanes have stricter limits as to the weight they can carry, it is very important that the rate computation takes into account the dimensional weight of the cargo. This computation includes both the weight and volume of the shipment. Air freight service providers have come up with the idea of chargeable weight. This can either be the actual weight of the cargo or its volumetric weight, depending on which one is greater.
To determine a shipment’s volumetric weight, it is necessary to determine its cubic volume first, then divide this value by the dimensional weight factor or DIM. The DIM varies, depending on the shipping company and location, among other factors.
Since the cargo’s weight plays such a big role in delivery pricing, it is more advisable to send larger cargo via ocean freight shipment than by plane. Some ocean freight services do not take the cargo weight into account when setting the price, and are more dependent on the cube rate.