Sefco's online
cubic footage estimator.
See average "cu-ft" volume
for items you would find
in a typical overseas move.

Planning to move overseas?

Order an ESR-Export Survey Report for $175, or...

{fill in our cubic footage estimator form}

Let Sefco Export Management Company
take a cyber-survey of your home...

Here are some items you'd usually find, going room by room, in a typical in-home pre-move survey.

Fill in our form with a general listing of what you are thinking of sending, and we'll come back to you with a cubic footage volume estimate.

Let's start with...

Home Sweet Home


side table 5cft, umbrella stand 4 cft, small mirrors - pictures @ 1cft each, coat rack 7cft, side chair 7 cft, arm chair 12 cft, round wood table 15cft, table lamp 5cft, small lamp 2cft, standing lamp 6fct, misc papers - packed into book cartons @ 2cft each, decor - packed into dishpack carton 6cft.

a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 72-cuft

Here are my items:

>>>>> NEXT >>>>>


sofa 60cft,

loveseat = 40-cuft

loveseat 40cft, 2 side tables 20cft, end table 10cft, coffee table 15cft, upholstered arm chair 20cft, lounger upholstered chair 35cft, regular arm chair 12cft, side chair no arms 6cft, sectional sofa in 5 parts 120cft, magazine rack 2cft, ottoman 6cft, medium bookcase 20cft, 3-part bookcase 60cft, wall mirrors 4cft, secretary desk 30cft, 3-pc. entertainment/display center 120cft, smaller rugs 3cft, 8x10' rug 10cft, large area rugs 25cft, flowers/decor 5cft, metal stand 5cft, standing lamps 7cft, med. table lamps 5cft, statuettes/figurines packed into dishpack carton 6cft, larger statues/ceramics 10cft

a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 596-cuft

Here are my items:

>>>>> NEXT >>>>>


table - legs off including extra leaves 25cft, 4 side chairs 30cft, 2 arm chairs 25 cft, china cabinet 35cft, one full set of china packed into 3 dishpack cartons 18cft, misc serving platters packed into medium "linen" cartons 4cft, two shelves of linen filling up one "linen" carton 4cft, wooden bureaus/cabinet 35cft

a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 176-cuft

Here are my items:

>>>>> NEXT >>>>>


med. table 15cft, 4 med. chairs 20cft, pail 5cft, average dishes into 2 dishpacks 12cft, ave. pots/pans- misc sm. appliances into 3 linen cartons 12cft, stools 5cft, misc food/spices into 4-5 book cartons 10cft.

a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 79-cuft

Here are my items:

>>>>> NEXT >>>>>


plastic pail 4cft, misc toiletries - curtains - mats - scale into 3 book cartons 6cft

a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 10-cuft

Here are my items:

>>>>> NEXT >>>>>


rugs - runners 3-6cft, sideboard tables 15cft, corner display stands 20cft, pictures into 1 bookcarton 2cft

a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 43-cuft

Here are my items:

>>>>> NEXT >>>>>


office desk setup 35cft, swivel chair 10cft, upholstered armchair 20cft, 4-drawer file cabinet 20cft, misc papers - books - records into 10 bookcartons 20cft, medium sized library of 200-250 books into 10-15 bookcartons 30cft, vases/decor into dishpack 6cft, wall photos - diplomas 1cft each

a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 142-cuft

Here are my items:

>>>>> NEXT >>>>>

extra large armoire = 80-cuft

Master Bedroom...

king size bed 70cft, queen bed -all parts 60cft, full bed 50cft, twin beds 25cft, 2 night tables 20cft, med. bureau 20cft, larger bureau 35cft, large armoire 60cft, med footlocker 10cft, ave clothes - one adult packed into 6 linen cartons 24cft, two wardrobe cartons 20cft, 3 bookcartons misc 6cft

a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 400-cuft

Here are my items:

>>>>> NEXT >>>>>

Childrens bedroom(s)...

crib 20cft, changer 15cft, plastic stools - toys - stacking units ave 20cft, pampers & infant supplies ave 30cft.

a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 85-cuft

Here are my items:

>>>>> NEXT >>>>>

Basement / Garage / Outside...

exersize machine disassembled 20cft, adult bicycle 10cft, childrens bikes 5cft, bar unit 45cft, stools 7cft, outdoor grill 20cft, ski set 10cft, tennis 5cft, golf set 10ft, mower 15cft, garden hoes - brooms etc 10cft, medium ladder 10cft, large steamer trunk 20cft, medium footlocker 12cft, tool chest 10cft, outdoor furniture - picnic table 30cft, wooden benches 8cft

a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 247-cuft
Basement/Outdoor/Storage goods:

Here are my items:

You can estimate the overall volume of your pre-packed cartons by taking note of the overall height, length and width of everything, stacked into a generally square shape.

For example: take a large bunch of cartons all stacked up, measuring 6 feet long by 5 feet high by 8 feet deep (6'x 5'x 8'= 240-cuft). This will give you a volume of approx. 240-cubic feet.

>>>>> NEXT >>>>>

New major appliances & electronics...

med refrigerator 40cft, large double fridge 60cft, clothes & dish washer 25cft each,

You can buy appliances for overseas use. appliances

clothes- drier 25cft, small tv 4cft, med tv 7 cft, larger tv 15cft, vcr 3cft, personal computer setup 15cft, kitchen cookers etc 5cft, fax - printer 4cft, phone gadgets 2cft, med stereo cabinet 15cft, mini satellite disk 10cft, home base outdoor satellite dish 60cft

a subtotal of 1-each of the above = 290-cuft

Here are my items:

Adding the volume of all these sample items comes to 2,140-cubic feet. One completely full 40-foot container-load.

Besides standard 20-ft and 40-ft ocean containers, there are also what are called high-cube 40-ft containers which are 9-feet tall, and can accommodate perhaps 2500-cubic feet volume of household goods.

We'll have a look at your own list...
Please don't forget to give us your:

Shipper/Exporter Name:

Origin Address (please include postal code)

Destination Address (Country and postal code)


Proposed Date of Export:

and then press the SUBMIT button below
and we will get back to you with our own volume estimate.

>>>>> continued >>>>>

>>>>> NEXT >>>>>

Questions frequently asked...

Can you include a car inside your container?

YES. If sending in one 20 ft container,
a small to average sized passenger car will leave approx 200 cuft volume available inside the container for us to include your household goods.

If loaded into one 40 ft container, you'll have room for @ 1200 cuft worth of goods, possibly more. A "fit" of closer to 1600 cuft of HHG along with a midsized passenger car is achievable, if shipped in a special High-Cube 40-foot ocean container. The "high-cube" container is taller than the standard 40-ft container.
Our web site has photos of containers for you to see.

---> You can pack & load the shipping container yourself--for best economy, or for best convenience we can arrange to have our designated export-packers/movers come to your home, to professionally wrap/export pack and load everything for you.

For more details about packing cartons, boxes, materials and more... Read our

Origin Service Packing Guide

surf our site to learn more

Note: Sometimes, unintentionally or otherwise, the inexperienced lay-person may under-estimate the amount of "packables" and volume involved in a move. It's always better to be "safe" rather than estimate too few cartons as being needed.
Please make note of the dimensions of each item (HxWxD)
and also refer to our very informative cubic footage primer:
Don't be a "wishful thinker"... measure your own property and find out how large it is. Read our online guides for further details about export packaging as it relates to net and gross (export packed) volume:

There can be a lot of hidden personal effects in all the nooks and crannies of a large house. What's under the bed? In the attic? Sometimes at the last minute people decide to take items from an attic, garage, or elsewhere that otherwise would be thrown away.

Your decision process:
When you are using an "exclusive use" FCL full container from your door, and if you are self-packing and loading, basically - as long as there is room to put something in the container, it can go in, and the cost remains the same. In most cases, the basic transportation cost for shipping an ocean container from your door - empty or full - remains the same. This is good to know, when you are self-loading, and wondering if you can include those "maybe ship" items. If there's room for it in the container, then stick it in. If no room in the container, then the "maybe ship" item stays.

For LCL less than container loads, the total cubic footage of the cargo itself is very important. You are paying for every cubic foot of space that will be packed and shipped. If you have a limited budget, you can self-package. Do not ship anything larger than you can afford to ship. Pack it, then measure it. Then tell us how big it is. Everything is normally remeasured at the shipping/receiving terminal.

If interested in using our service, please send us a list of what you plan to ship. Try to be deliberative in what you plan to take with you; travel light if necessary. Separate the "superfluous items" from your property to be definitely shipped.
Consider: is it really necessary?

If you are not sure if you should "take it or not?", feel free to get our opinion and advice. Be sure to send us an email with your list and any questions.

.............. SEFCO's Cubic Footage Guide is for general estimation purposes only.

Sefco Export Management Company, Inc.
1 Ascan Avenue, Suite PH-74
Forest Hills, N.Y. 11375 - USA

Main Tel: 888-268-0565
Fax: 718-732-2863


Please send us a copy of your inventory list by E-mail or Fax.

For more general information
please be sure to visit our homepage at
Thanks for visiting!

Sefco Export Management Company, Inc.
Overseas Moving Specialists

v.12/2008 ©J.Quinn/