With the exception of remote regions, visual surveys are nearly always done for shipments where the volume is likely to be more than 500 cubic feet. Your effort is required to improve your chances for an accurate estimate. It is your responsibility to:
- Make a list of the goods to be shipped and submit it to Kef at least 3 days before the surveyor arrives. The greater the detail (numbers, measurements, etc.), the better the comparison with the surveyors list.
- Acquire a copy of the visual survey. Do not expect anyone to give you one; you have to get it. If the surveyor is unable to provide one on the spot, have him make a copy.
- Compare it with your list, and make sure that you and the surveyor understand each other – especially if your house is disorganized, or there are many goods to be boxed. Verify that the survey includes everything you wish to ship. Ask questions – review the sample volume sheet at the end of this document.
- Know whether your estimate is Net or Brut/Gross. Net is actual measurements; brut/gross is the billable volume after packing and/or palletizing and/or crating. There is a difference of 15-25% from the way most volume estimators estimate volume for net. The difference from net before packing is much higher.
- Both you and the surveyor should carefully review, sign the estimate and keep a copy. When you sign, you are attesting to accuracy and completeness, so please take your time to make sure you understand it. You may change your mind after the survey and ship significantly more or less than what you showed the surveyor. Since price estimates and contracts are usually based on the survey, it is important to use the survey—and changes from the estimate—as an indication of what the final bill will be. The bill will be based on volume after crating/palletization/containerization.
We have no obligation to perform a survey. Most often if goods are likely to be under 500 cubic feet and/or more than 25 miles away no on-site survey will be performed. If goods are in self-storage or in crates, no survey will be performed. In all of these cases, we will rely on information supplied by yourself or by your warehouse person. You are solely responsible for the accuracy of this information.
Accuracy of Volume Estimates
The following tend to have less accurate estimates. Shipments estimated under 400 cubic feet. No on-site estimate performed. Non-segregated, poorly organized, or messy sites. Loose goods. Relatively little furniture. One person present for the estimate and another for loading. No written check lists. Goods picked up from a storage site. Very large or irregularly shaped items, especially for less than container loads
On-site volume estimates can be accurate, but you have to work to make sure you and the surveyor understand each other, and that the written document reflects that understanding. Because of communication problems, forgotten/added items, or the way objects are packed and fit together in packing, estimates can be off dramatically in either direction. The same applies even more to estimates done by spreadsheets or on the phone/web. Get a copy of your volume estimate--review it in detail before signing.
Please note: the volume surveyor is there for only one purpose, to give you a volume estimate. He is not there to quote pricing.
The truckers and packers are also only there for one purpose, to pack and load. If you listen to their estimate of volume, you do so at your own risk – Kef takes no responsibility for the information given by truckers, packers, or even their foreman.
Volume Estimate as a Component of Your Contract
Your contract with Kef is based on the professional volume estimate you receive from our agent, and the corresponding price quoted in the contract will be a minimum. If you find that your planning changes after the estimate and you would like to significantly change the size of your shipment, you must inform Kef so that we can adjust your contract accordingly. Otherwise, you will be bound by the pricing from the original estimate. If you exceed that, you will be billed pro-rata (total price ÷ estimated volume and/or weight) for the additional amount. If you go beyond the capacity of your container, you will be billed for an additional LCL (less than full container) shipment, including one time fees.
Crating, palletization, and packing adds significantly to the billable volume of unpacked goods. Packing alone adds 15-20%, crating/palletizing another 15-25% to get to billable volume, the usable space taken up by your goods. These percentages are approximate, and they can vary widely according to how close you come to existing sizes of pallets and crates.
See the Chart of Volumes for approximate volumes of common household items.
1) The amount of furniture is the main factor which affects the volume of your shipment. Boxes of household goods also add up, but not as quickly as furniture.
2) If your estimate is under 600 cubic feet, it will be best to send your shipment in a consolidation (LCL).
3) If your estimate is between 600-800 cubic feet, it will be wise to compare both the LCL option and the option of send your things in an exclusive 20' container.
4) If your estimate is between 800-1,050 cubic feet, it will be best to send your shipment in a 20' container which has a capacity of around 1,050 cubic feet.
5) If your estimate is above 1,050 cubic feet, you will need to consider either taking some things out of the shipment and trying to fit into a 20' container, or you may consider sending a 40' container which has a capacity of around 2,100 cubic feet.
6) If your estimate is above 1,200 cubic feet, you will need your own 40' container.