Final volume can differ from the estimate. Why?

Final volume can differ from the estimate.    An estimate is an approximation.

Before goods are packed and loaded, there is no way to measure or perfectly estimate the space goods will take up when they are packed and loaded, whether in a storage room or a container.

Margin of Error

Assuming that you showed the volume estimator exactly what was going to be in your shipment, that the volume estimate was in person, not by video, that you did not have many or large irregularly shaped items, and that you did not deviate whatsoever from the original list, figure a margin of error of 10-15%.    Since most people are not completely consistent and unchanging in their decision about what goods they are shipping, because estimates are estimates, estimators are people, and the way things are packed and loaded have such outsized influence on the final volume, deviations of 10-35% and more are not uncommon.    The bottom line is that you will be paying based on actual, measured packed and loaded volume.


The way things are loaded in storage or a container strongly influences the amount of space taken up.  Dead, or empty, space or boxes with nothing in them can sometimes be essential to safe packing and loading.  To complicate things further, there are goods which can and cannot be stacked on each other.   Because of the twisting and turning of a container on the ocean there are goods which cannot be put next to each other.   Unlike commercial shipments of packages of identical size, shipments of household goods have many different sizes and shapes.  |


There is a wide range of the way things can be packed.   Typically, the more space that is “wasted” on packing and packing materials, the less likely it is that goods will be damaged.


Here are some additional reasons why estimates (hear that word, estimate) are not accurate.

1.  Video/Spoken volume estimates.

2. Changing, unclear priorities.

3.  No precise lists presented in advance to the movers, labels on the goods,  separation of goods by priority.

4.   Disorganized, loose, or unusual items.

5.  Goods which do not have standard shape.

6 .  One spouse/partner is responsible for some portion of making the prioritized lists, supervising the estimate, directing and/or supervising one day of the move, directing/supervising another day of the move— and the other spouse/partner is responsible for other portions.

7.  Inadequate communication

8..  Inadequate review of the survey.

9.   GUARANTEED:   the way to (almost) guarantee a discrepancy between estimated and actual volume is to trust the packers on-the-spot advice/information about volume.    Please do not rely on any information they give you–that includes but is not limited to volume, rights, timing, pricing, customs, or reassembly.   If you have any questions or instructions about those subjects, communicate ONLY with the Kef offices in Jerusalem.   If you cannot reach us, it is ok to speak to the Managing Director of our local agent, but reconfirm the information and instructions in writing with our office in Jerusalem.    The more care and attention you put into creating prioritized lists before pickup, the more accurate your volume will be.

10.  LCLs –shared container loads.   The smaller the shipment, the larger the apparent (%) deviation.

Crates and Lift Vans

Lift Vans are crates that are not built to the size of goods.    Though crates provide the best security against breakage and loss, they are the least efficient use of space.  If goods do not fit well, there is more unused space than on pallets.   Your forwarder might have crates of  75 or 150 cubic feet, though 200 is most common (inside measurements  are 84” W, 84” H, 45″ D).    Depending on the forwarder, crates may be standard procedure or by special order.

Click the blue words for, “Why be careful about sharing space when shipping to Israel?”

Estimators estimate volume;   movers pack and load.  Movers are unreliable about volume.  Neither movers nor estimators are reliable about pricing, timing, customs, or reassembly.

Exceeding container capacity.      If you are close to or over a volume limit, consider going to the next larger container.    The only way to ship overflow is by making a separate, shared container shipment–usually more expensive than getting a larger container in the first place. 


Less than 600 cubic feet LCL (Less than Container Load)
600- 800 cubic feet COMPARE difference in cost of LCL and 20’ FCL container
800- 1,000 cubic feet 20’ FCL container
1,000- 1,200 cubic feet Prioritize and reduce load to fit 20’ FCL container or jump to a 40’ container
 1,200 cubic feet to 2,000 cubic feet 40’ FCL container
 2,000- 2,200 cubic feet 40’ HIGH FCL container
Above 2,200 cubic feet Prioritize and reduce load to fit  40’ HIGH container, or ship as LCL & FCL


This agreement is governed by the laws of the State of Israel. The courts in the District of Jerusalem, Israel, have sole and exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute.