Benefits of freight cost calculation with Interworld Freight

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Transparent pricing

With an accurate calculation of your freight costs, you are less likely to be surprised by freight bills that are higher than the prices originally quoted by your freight forwarder or carrier. 

For example, misclassification of a shipment at the point of quotation will be picked up by the carrier when receiving the shipment for transportation. If the goods belong in a higher class than that stated in the quote, the freight bill will increase accordingly.

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Efficiency boost

When shippers receive higher-than-expected freight bills, it often becomes necessary to invest time and resources into understanding why. When you’re able to calculate freight costs effectively before you ship, your business efficiency is less likely to be compromised by time spent in price queries and dispute resolution.

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Optimized budgeting

Our easy-to-use freight cost calculator can help you to see the true price of shipping any consignment via various types of freight service. Plan ahead and see when to ship your goods for optimal economy, and take informed decisions about how to ship them. With effective freight cost calculation, your logistics budget planning will be more accurate and your logistics execution more efficient.

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Seamless integration

Our freight cost calculation feature is simple, fast and easy to use, and accurate. Better still we’ve developed it to integrate seamlessly into your existing logistics processes. Give your enterprise a cost-performance upgrade with freight cost pricing transparency, courtesy of Interworld Freight.


Step 1: Understand the basics of freight costs

When we talk about understanding freight cost basics, we’re simply referring to the need for you to know what details you should prepare when seeking a price for goods transportation.

Specifically, the weight, dimensions, and nature of your cargo are key influences on the costs your carrier will incur to move it, and hence, on the size of your freight bill. 

If there are differences between the information you supply and the real weight, dimensions, and type of cargo, your carrier’s final bill might be higher than the original quotation.

After spending time on this page, you will have an essential understanding of freight cost basics, meaning Step 1 is already complete. 

Step 2: Gather your shipment details

So what are those essential details that a freight forwarder or carrier needs to give you an accurate freight price calculation?

  • Weight: You’ll need to provide the exact weight of the goods you are shipping, as your carrier has a legal obligation to comply with weight restrictions when planning your freight’s transportation.

  • Dimensions: Your carrier can’t move your shipment on the basis of its weight alone. For example, many types of goods will max out a vehicle’s physical carrying capacity, even though they are not heavy. The carrier must know the precise length, width, and height of your consignment, including skids, pallets, or other packaging. Shipping multiple pallets? Be sure to provide the dimensions of each loaded pallet. Note that the carrier will also use the weight and dimensions of your consignment to calculate its density—and the denser it is, the more economical it will be to ship.
  • Shipment Origin and Destination: These are the remaining pieces of the freight calculation puzzle. Your carrier will use origin and destination details to establish the distance over which your freight will travel—and of course, distance is a critical factor in freight cost calculation.

Step 3: Use our freight cost calculator

With the detailed information from Step 2 in hand, moving forward with freight cost calculation becomes significantly more manageable. By utilizing our quick and accurate online freight cost calculator, you can effortlessly estimate the shipping expenses. This tool is designed to integrate and analyze the crucial factors like shipment weight, dimensions, origin, destination, and the type of service required. Simply input the gathered details, and our calculator will provide a reliable, instantaneous quote. This allows you to make informed, efficient decisions regarding your shipping options, ensuring no detail is overlooked.

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Factors Influencing Freight Costs

Want to know precisely what factors play into the cost of shipping freight?

We’ve already mentioned some of them, such as the type of freight you are shipping and the shipment’s dimensions and weight.

We also mentioned that some of the pricing variables are not under the shipper’s control, so, to help you strengthen your understanding of freight cost fundamentals, here’s a brief summary of all the main cost drivers.

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Cost Drivers Attributable to your Shipment

  • Consignment dimensions – Exact height, length, width of the consignment including its packaging.
  • Consignment weight – Exact weight of the consignment including its packaging.
  • Consignment origin and destination – Used to calculate shipment distance, and may also influence freight costs in other ways. For example, carriers may add fees for traveling into hard-to-access localities, particularly in larger cities.
  • Type of goods to be shipped – This helps the carrier establish whether specialized equipment or handling will be necessary for your freight.
  • Freight density and class – We’ve provided a detailed explanation of this freight pricing factor here.
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Factors not Attributable to your Shipment (Economic Conditions)

  • Seasonal demand – Freight costs increase at times of high demand, and decrease when demand is lower.
  • Overall market conditions – Freight rates fluctuate in line with market dynamics, increasing, for example during periods of volatility or in the event of supply chain disruption.
  • Price of fuel – Any increase in fuel prices cuts into carriers’ revenue, so naturally, when fuel prices rise, so do freight rates.
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How to Minimize your Freight Costs

Here are a few tips to reduce the costs of shipping your freight:

  • Plan shipments well in advance – By planning ahead you gain more options to choose the least expensive shipping dates and routes, and avoid the need for expensive expedited shipping services.
  • Ensure your shipment details are accurate - Avoid extra carrier fees by providing precise and accurate information about the dimensions and weight of your consignment, and the type of goods you are shipping.
  • Consolidate your freight - Combine multiple small shipments into larger, fuller, and fewer shipments to save money.
  • Optimize your packaging – Identify and implement smart packing strategies for efficient truck space utilization.

Selecting the right freight service for your needs

Cost-effective freight shipping requires careful service selection. For the best economy it pays to be flexible, and choose the service that most closely matches the requirements of a specific shipping scenario.

Fast freight options 

It’s usually preferable to avoid fast shipping services, as long as you can plan your shipments well ahead of time. Expedited road freight and air freight services will get your goods to their destination fast, but are more expensive than slower services. 

Nevertheless, when time is of the essence, air freight will be your fastest option. Express road freight is also a time-saver, and is cheaper than air freight, but may not be suitable for some international shipments.

Economical freight options

For less time-critical shipments, ocean freight is often the most economical mode of international shipping. However, you may also need to arrange road freight from the shipment’s origin to the departure port or from the arrival port to its final destination.

Road freight is also ideal for domestic or cross-border shipments where no maritime shipping is necessary. You will typically have the choice of full truckload (FTL) or less-than-truckload (LTL) services. 

Send your goods as full truckload freight if:

  • Your consignment comprises more than 12 pallets
  • Your goods are delicate or fragile
  • You have no flexibility in the departure and arrival dates of your shipment

Use LTL shipping if:

  • You will ship fewer than 12 pallets
  • Your goods can withstand the additional handling involved in LTL shipping
  • You have some flexibility in the timing of delivery

Understanding freight class and density

When you use LTL shipping for your freight, its density and class will play a substantial part in cost calculation. 

Freight class

There are 18 classes of freight, each determined by the following elements:

  • Density: A calculation of the weight of your consignment in relation to its dimensions.
  • Liability: Higher-value commodities require greater security, so are categorized in a higher class
  • Stowability: An assessment of how well your consignment will fit into a truck with other freight
  • Handling: Your goods will be in a higher class if they require special handling or loading equipment

To calculate the freight class for LTL shipping, first calculate the density, and then determine the freight class based on the density and the stowability, handling, and liability factors. 

As the classification process can be complex, it’s probably best to ask your forwarder or carrier to help you identify the class for which your shipment qualifies.

The higher the class of your freight, the greater the cost of shipping, making it essential to provide accurate details of your freight type, consignment dimensions, and consignment weight to your freight forwarder or carrier when requesting a quote.

Freight density

You can determine your freight’s density with a fairly simple calculation. 

Here is a brief step-by-step guide to freight density calculation:

  1. Measure the length, width, and height of your shipment in inches, including pallets and packaging materials.
  2. Multiply (length x width x height) to get the total cubic inches of the shipment.
  3. Divide the total cubic inches by 1,728 (cubic inches per cubic foot) to find the total cubic feet of the shipment.
  4. Weigh the shipment, including pallets and packaging.
  5. Divide the weight by the total cubic feet. The result is the freight density, expressed in pounds per cubic foot (PCF).

As density is one of the elements in LTL freight classification, freight with low density typically has a higher classification, and will cost more to ship than high-density freight.


Air Freight

Air freight, charters, FCL and LCL cargo between any two global points.

Ocean Freight

As a leading ocean freight forwarder, Interworld Freight specializes in shipping goods to, from, and within the Americas.

Road Freight

Pickup and delivery, nationwide truck brokerage, LTL and full truckload final mile options for domestic trucking needs.


From pallet-level storage through complex, piece-level e-Commerce distribution by truck, post or courier.

Project Cargo

Oversize, out of gauge, overdimensional pieces, RO/RO or time-charter vessels.

Shipping Container

Interworld Freight offers competitive international container shipping rates that not only reflect affordability but also guarantee reliability, convenience, and peace of mind.

Contact us for personalized freight cost assistance

If you would like some help to calculate freight costs accurately and effectively, our logistics experts are always available to offer personalized assistance with cost estimation.
For fast and professional help from our team, please use our contact form to get in touch.