# Calculating road transport costs and load meters. How can you save on freight transport?

**Calculating the cost of road freight transport requires taking into account several key factors, such as the length of the route, fuel costs, cargo insurance, additional fees and the number of load meters occupied by the goods. That is why the accurate calculation of LDM (load meters) is such an important skill in the TSL (Transport, Forwarding, Logistics) industry. Having this knowledge allows you to optimize the costs associated with transport, which translates into significant savings.**

The final cost of transporting goods consists of many minor factors. One of them is the length of the route that the goods have to travel. Then you should check the current market rate per kilometer. This will of course be an approximate value, but it is worth taking it into account when estimating. Of course, an important factor is how much load space a given product takes up, whether dedicated or additional transport will be needed. Then fuel costs based on current prices and possible fees for using expressways. Insurance is also important and should be included in the costs, like other operating costs. Finally, it is also worth remembering about the margin for the company, which can be very diverse.

**How to calculate load meters and transport rates?**

A load meter (LDM) is a unit of measurement used in road transport to determine the cargo space occupied by goods on a trailer. Determining how many load meters a given product occupies and how many are still free is extremely important in loading planning, thanks to which you can optimize the cargo space and thus reduce transport costs. A load meter is a section of 1 meter long across the entire width of the trailer, in which the goods are loaded. It is assumed that the width of the trailer is standardly 2.4 meters. To calculate how many load meters a given load occupies, knowing the dimensions of the goods, you can use the following formula:

However, there are often cases in which we are not able to count load meters using the above formula. These will be cases of loads with non-standard shapes and dimensions, e.g. industrial machines, steel structures or some furniture. Sometimes, loading planning can be additionally complicated by the different stackability of loads. Often, there are several non-stackable goods in one transport, while the rest are stackable.

**The calculation of the transport rate may look like this:**

*Example formula for calculating the rate:*

Rate = (Rate per kilometer * Distance) + Fuel costs + Tolls + Additional costs + Profit margin

*Example:*

Distance: 300 km

Rate per kilometer: PLN 2/km

Fuel costs: PLN 300

Tolls: PLN 50

Additional costs: PLN 100

Profit margin: 20%

Rate = (PLN 2/km * 300 km) + PLN 300 + PLN 50 + PLN 100 = PLN 950

Profit margin = PLN 950 * 20% = PLN 190

Total rate: PLN 950 + PLN 190 = PLN 1140

Such a rate takes into account all costs related to the transport of goods and adds profit for the transport company.

**What to do in the case of non-standard goods and how to save on transport?**

In the case of non-standard loads, the arrangement of which we are not able to light up on a piece of paper and calculate using the above formula, it is worth using the help of the application. Smartload is an intuitive tool for professional loading planning, which allows you to add loads with non-standard dimensions. In addition, it shows occupied and free LDMs while arranging the goods in the cargo space. Thanks to this, it is possible to quickly and easily estimate the transport costs of a given product. The intelligent algorithm optimally arranges the goods on the trailer, gaining up to 24% more space. The application will also suggest the right vehicle so that you do not overpay for transport. We offer a 14-day trial period for new users. Register and save on transport!