What Makes Linear Foot Important For Shipping And How To Calculate It?

linear foot

Packing a freight truck is an art, and if you are familiar with calculating the linear foot of the cargo, you will achieve maximum efficiency. You will also deliver your shipment on time.

Carrier companies rely on the precision of freight measurements as miscalculations can cost them. It is a regular occurrence that people don’t know how to measure their shipments which incurs hefty fines on them. You can easily avoid these fines. Calculating linear feet is very easy, and we will look at how to do it in this article. We will also see how linear foot fits in the grand shipping scheme.

What Is A Linear Foot?

The linear foot is a length of a foot which is 12 inches. In the U.S., height is usually measured in feet. All kinds of rulers are typically one linear foot in length. When measuring freight, you can’t use a small ruler. The best tool to do that is a tape measure that has 20+ linear feet without breaks. This tool achieves precise measurements.

Importance Of Linear Feet For Shipping:

When carriers determine their shipment cost, a linear foot is a relevant measurement to do that. A single trailer has limited space. So, it would help if you calculated how much linear distance your cargo will take up. This idea enables you to calculate your specific quote and plan the rest of your budget.

  • Many shipping companies offer you a per-foot adjustment rate. This means that if you exceed or take up less space, you will be charged or deducted a specific amount.
  • Carriers want to give you an accurate quote, and they do that by cost estimation. This calculation is made by knowing how much space the cargo takes on the truck. Precise measurement of linear feet is the best way to do that.

How To Calculate Linear Foot?

Making this calculation is relatively easy. Let’s look at how to do it in the easiest way possible.

  • Divide the total number of pallets or boxes by two.
  • Multiply the answer with the pallet length in inches.
  • Now divide this number by 12, and the answer will be your shipment’s linear feet.


Q1- What is the linear foot rule?

In the transportation industry, this rule is a standard way of charging shippers for transporting goods. The law applies to less-than-truckload shipments mostly. This is a convenient way for shippers to ship products that are less than a truckload.

This rule also stipulates that shipments that take less than ten linear feet or more are charged for 1000lbs per linear foot. Shippers need to be extra careful with this rule as they may have to face penalties if they violate it.

Q2-What is the Cube rule in shipping?

The cube rule applies to low density or light freight but takes a significant amount of space as items like ping pong balls take up a lot of physical space when they are packaged. Applying the linear foot rule can be misleading as they do not weigh too much. In such cases, the cube rule is used by shippers.


A linear foot measurement is a fundamental unit for measuring shipping costs. It is a standard rule that carriers provide freight quotes to manufacturers/ shippers.

Also Read: Covid-19 Recovery Plan For The Trucking Industry

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