What Is Chargeable Weight? Calculate Chargeable Weight in 2023

Calculate Chargeable Weight in 2022

Every airplane, vehicle, and the ship has a carrying capacity that is restricted by space or weight. If you load a ship with heavy cargo, you could reach its weight limit before you’ve filled all of the available space. If a vessel is loaded with light cargo, it is possible to fill all available capacity…

Every airplane, vehicle, and the ship has a carrying capacity restricted by space or weight. If you load a ship with heavy cargo, you could reach its chargeable weight limit before filling all the available space. If a vessel is loaded with light cargo, it can fill all available capacity before surpassing the weight limit.

The carrier will consider both the weight and volume of your cargo when determining the cost of carrying your cargo, translating the volume into a “weight equivalent,” often known as volumetric weight (dimensional weight). The carrier will then charge per kilogram for the actual weight (also known as gross weight) or volumetric weight, whichever is larger.

To put it another way, shipping 1 kilogram of feathers is more expensive than shipping 1 kilogram of steel, given that the feather containers take up more space than the steel cartons.

This explains why your shipment record will show actual and chargeable weight in some situations, primarily when delivered by air.

What Is Volumetric Weight?

The overall size of a parcel is referred to as volumetric weight (chargeable weight), and specialists use volumetric kilograms to measure it. The volumetric weight of a package can be estimated by multiplying the parcel’s length, width, and height (in cm) and then dividing the result by 5000. (Some carriers use a 4000 divider).

Volumetric Weight Calculation for Sea Freight

Your shipment’s pricing may sometimes be decided by the volumetric weight of your parcel(s) rather than the physical weight. Remember that shipping agencies or freight forwarders use the greater weight in their calculations. 

It’s also worth mentioning that it works the other way around. You could have a small package of heavy metal parts that weighs 10 kg (30 cm x 30 cm x 20 cm). The package weighs 5.4 kg. In this case, the volumetric weight is less than the physical cargo weight; hence the charge will be based on 10 kg.

Let’s move on to gross weight now that we’ve learned about volumetric weight on our journey to comprehending the difference between chargeable weight and gross weight.

What Is Gross Weight? 

Gross is a word that signifies “total” in the dictionary. Gross weight refers to the total amount of weight. All shipping requirements are dependent on the gross weight. It includes the product, it’s packing, and any additional packaging necessary to distribute the products.

The gross cargo weight may change according to the type of transportation:

  • We calculate gross weight in air shipment by adding product and packaging weight, crew and passenger weight, fuel, and aircraft.
  • The product weight + packing (tare weight) plus the weight of the vehicle or wagon is the gross weight for road or rail shipment.
  • Product weight and packing weight (tare weight) or container weight is used to calculate gross weight for ocean shipment.

Gross Weight Vs. Chargeable Weight

Some people believe that the volumetric and chargeable weights are the same. The chargeable weight is automatically the volumetric weight for heavy cargoes in air freight. However, because specific parcels have a higher density and weigh more than their volumetric weight, this information is unreliable; The chargeable weight will be the package’s gross weight in this situation.

How to Calculate Chargeable Weight In Ocean, Road & Air Freight

When calculating chargeable weight and shipping an FCL (Full Container Load) package, weight isn’t usually an issue to consider when calculating costs. As long as your cargo has a legal weight, the cost of an FCL shipment is determined by the shipping method and the travel distance.

However, weight might become a significant factor in your cost estimates with smaller shipments. Here, we’ll examine the different rules and regulations for various shipping methods.

If you’re shipping less than a container load (LCL) by sea, your freight forwarder or shipping company will determine the cargo’s weight and cubic volume. These will be compared using the air freight chargeable weight formula 1 CBM = 1000kgs, with the bigger of the two being multiplied by the shipper’s per-kg rate.


You are planning to ship a cargo of 200Kg with a cubic volume of 1.44cbm. To make these two measurements comparable, you should convert the weight to a decimal of 1000Kg. After doing so, your shipment’s weight turns into 0.200Kg. As you notice, 1.44 is more significant than 0.200, so you can use the cubic volume to calculate the freight cost. If the freight cost is £50, then we multiply it b the weight or measure, and it would be 50 x 1.44= £72


Understanding your cargo costs is essential because it can influence how you pack it for shipping. If your cargo is being charged by weight rather than volumetric weight, for example, you may pack it in a way that takes up more space to protect it better during transportation. The shipping cost should not increase as long as the cargo weight stays unchanged (and is greater than the volumetric weight).

In this viedo you can find everything you need to know about chargeable weight in shipping:

Road Freight Chargeable Weight

If you’re delivering your package by road, the shipper will compute the fee based on the greater of the actual weight and volumetric weight. However, there are some distinctions.

To calculate the volume weight of road freight, multiply the volume (cbm) by a standard multiple – generally 333kgs. The cost is then computed using a fixed rate sliding scale, with the higher actual weight and volume weight falling into the rate category.


You are planning to ship a cargo of 400Kg with a cubic volume of 0.769cbm. To understand the final weight, you should multiply 333Kg x 0.769 = 256Kg. As you see, 400 is higher than 256, so the real weight of your cargo can be used to compute the freight charge.


If you’re delivering products that aren’t stackable, such as anything strangely shaped or too heavy to stack on top of other cargo, you can make an exception to the rule. In this situation, your cargo’s ‘loading meter value’ in kg will be calculated using the measurements of your base pallet and industry-standard trailer dimensions.

Air Freight Chargeable Weight

Air freight prices are also calculated based on weight and volume. However, as you’ve undoubtedly worked out, there’s no simple freight charge calculation! If you’re shipping by air, you’ll need to use the typical dividing factor of 6000.


You plan to transport a cargo of 400 g with a cubic volume of 12000 cbcm. The cubic volume should be divided by 6000 to get 2 kg, which is the volume weight of your parcel. We see that the volume weight is higher than the real or actual weight of the cargo, so we use the volume weight to compute the chargeable weight for air freight. If the freight charge is 10 for 1 kilogram, then the cost of transporting your package is 10 x 2 = £20.

The Final Word

If calculating the freight charge hurts your brain, calculating it yourself may not be so exciting. A freight forwarder company like DFreight can make the process considerably more straightforward in this situation. Here at DFreight, we try to help you make educated decisions; all you need to do is contact us!

How is shipping chargeable weight calculated?

Shipping chargeable weight is calculated by taking the shipment’s dimensional weight and adding the weight of the packaging material.

How can I reduce my chargeable shipping weight?

You can reduce your chargeable shipping weight by using lighter packaging materials, such as cardboard instead of wood.

Why is shipping chargeable weight important?

Shipping chargeable weight is crucial because it determines the shipping costs a shipper will be responsible for.

Source sciencedirect
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