Rate this post

Some people often expect that shipping by sea is much cheaper than by air because the transit time is longer and carrier will console small parcels into container for saving costs. In fact, sea freight could be more costly when the volume is small.

The minimum volume by sea freight is 1 cubic meter ( cbm ). Illustrate that you have 6 boxes with dimensions ( 60 x 60 x 50 cm ). We have formula to calculate the cbm is 0.6 x 0.6 x 0.5 ( exchange from cm to m ) = 0.18 cbm x 6 boxes = 1.08 cbm. It can be said that 6 boxes of 60 x 60 x 50 cm have the volume around 1 cbm.

Sea freight
Shipping by sea freight

When you pack the stuffs, if the total quantity of box is less than 6 boxes with those dimensions, the volume will be less than 1 cbm.

Base on TCL Logistics’ records, we have some datas for your reference :

  • 1 cbm by sea freight to Asia : from USD 800 – 1000
  • 1 cbm by sea freight to EU : from USD 1000 – USD 1500
  • 1 cbm by sea freight to America : from USD 1500 – USD 2000


In case you have more than 1 cbm, the cost per cbm will be decreased because sea freight has some charge by shipment, not cbm.

As you can see, if you intend to spend less than USD 800, you need to consider not to ship by sea freight and tend to decrease your volume, meaning that you should remove some items from your shipping list.

In this case, with small volume , air express is the preferable choice for shipping internationally. It is not only faster but cheaper than air. You can refer to above quantity of boxes we mentioned and conclude that if shipping by air freight, less than 6 boxes of 60 x 60 x 50 cm should be reasonable.

On the other hand, when you have big items like furniture, paintings or decoration, sea freight is still the good option and your budget need to be expanding.

For further more information about freight quotation, export procedure and packing experience, you can contact us for answers :

Website : https://tclfreight.com.vn/en

Email : gerrard@tclfreight.com.vn

Mobile/Zalo/Whatsapp : 0934444044