Volumes Estimated and Real

In most cases, we will send a professional surveyor to your house to conduct an on-site volume estimate/survey. The first one is without charge;  additional surveys are $125 each.

 Your estimate is YOUR DECLARATION of what you plan to ship, and it is only as good as your communication with the surveyor. You must do whatever is necessary to make sure that it represents your intentions accurately   The best ways to accomplish that are:

A.  Before the estimator comes, create prioritized lists of goods-- 1st priority, #2,  #3, and DNS (do not ship)--and send a copy to Kef and the surveyor.

B.  Put labels on the goods, to identify them as Priority 1, 2, 3, or DNS.

C.    Review each section of the volume estimate with the surveyor.   Check it against your lists for clarity, accuracy, and completeness.

D.    Whether or not you are asked to sign a copy of the survey, copy/photograph it and ask for an email copy.

E.  Be clear if your estimate is Net or Gross.   Net is actual measurement--a 1.5 cubic foot box is counted as 1.5 cubic feet!    Gross is billable volume after packing/palletizing/crating--the usable space taken by goods.   Packing can increase the volume by 1.15 to 1.20.   Crating/palletizing can increase it again by those factors, depending on how goods fit standard pallets and crates.

F.   Well in advance of the pickup, notify Kef and the packers (in writing, please), if you want to limit your volume to the minimum or estimate on the contract, to the container, or to go to overflow separate shipment, if needed.  We can't always do that precisely--unless we show up with a pre-measured crate/container--but it will give us a target.

G.   If you have not prepared and presented SOLID prioritized lists and labels, make sure that the same person takes care of all communications relating to volume estimates and  supervising of packing and pickup.


IMPORTANT NOTE for shared and exclusive containers:   Your contract is for an estimated--and minimum billable--volume and includes the rate for shipping more.

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.

Shipments under 500 cubic feet, more than 25 miles away from the packers, or in self-storage may have no on-site volume estimate.   See the Chart of Volumes


Volume estimates that do not correspond to final volume.  This is when they happen:

1.  Changing, unclear priorities.  NO:  lists presented in advance to the movers, labels on the goods,  separation of goods by priority.

2.   Disorganized, loose, or unusual items.

3.  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.   Inadequate communication and review of the survey.

4.   GUARANTEED:   the way to (almost) guarantee a discrepancy between estimated and actual volume is to trust the packers advice/information about volume.    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.

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


Good things to know about packing volume. 

Delicate goods need isolation,  often leaving empty space above and around them.

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, 150, 200, 220 or 250 cubic feet, though 200 is most common.  Inside measurements of a standard crate are 84” W, 84” H, 45" D. Externally in meters:  2.2m W x 2.2m H x 1.2m 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.