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March 19, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Calculating Chargeable Weight in Shipments 

The Ultimate Guide to Calculating Chargeable Weight in Shipments 

Understanding how to calculate chargeable weight is crucial in the logistics and shipping industries. Chargeable weight, also referred to as volumetric or dimensional weight (DIM), is a billing practice that considers both the size and weight of a shipment to determine the freight cost. This guide will walk you through the process of calculating chargeable weight for air, sea, and road freight, ensuring that you can efficiently determine the most cost-effective method for shipping your goods. 

Understanding Chargeable Weight 

Chargeable weight takes into account that a shipment’s volume can affect the amount of cargo space it occupies, sometimes more so than the shipment’s actual weight. This concept ensures that carriers are compensated fairly for the space utilized by large but lightweight shipments. 

Calculating Chargeable Weight for Air Freight 

Air freight calculations use a specific divisor to determine volumetric weight, with the IATA suggesting 6000 as the standard divisor. 

  • Step 1: Gross Weight Calculation: Calculate the shipment’s actual weight. For instance, a box weighing 100 kg has a gross weight of 100 kgs. 
  • Step 2: Cargo Volume Calculation: Measure the shipment’s dimensions in meters (e.g., a box measuring 1 m x 0.9 m x 0.8 m) and calculate the volume in cubic meters (cbm). 
  • Step 3: Volumetric Weight Calculation: Multiply the cargo volume by the air freight volumetric weight constant (167 kgs per cbm) to determine the volumetric weight. 
  • Step 4: Determining Chargeable Weight: Compare the gross and volumetric weights, using the higher value as the chargeable weight. For the example, the chargeable weight would be 116.9 kgs. 

Calculating Chargeable Weight for Sea Freight 

The process for sea freight mirrors that of air freight but uses a different constant for volumetric weight (1000 kgs per cbm). 

  • Steps 1 to 3 are the same, adjusted for the sea freight constant. 
  • Step 4: The chargeable weight is determined by comparing the gross and volumetric weights, with the higher value used for billing. In the given example, the chargeable weight is 1800 kgs. 

Calculating Chargeable Weight for Road Freight 

Road freight also follows a similar calculation method but with a distinct volumetric weight constant (333 kgs per cbm). 

  • Steps 1 to 3 follow the same procedure, adapted to the road freight constant. 
  • Step 4: The chargeable weight is the higher value between the gross and volumetric weights. For the example, the chargeable weight is 960 kgs. 

Simplifying the Calculation Process 

While calculating chargeable weight is straightforward with the right information and constants, it can be time-consuming. Companies like WeFreight offer expert services to handle these calculations, ensuring accurate freight charges and simplifying logistics planning for businesses. 

FAQs 

  • How is actual weight different from chargeable weight? Actual weight is the physical weight of the shipment as measured on a scale, while chargeable weight is the weight used for billing purposes, considering both the shipment’s actual weight and its volumetric impact on cargo space. 
  • What are the top shipping lines in the world? The top shipping lines are often ranked by their capacity and global reach, including Maersk Line, MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company), and COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company), among others. 
  • What container is used for oversized cargo after calculating chargeable weight? For oversized cargo, special equipment or containers like Open Top Containers or Flat Rack Containers are used. These containers accommodate the size and shape of large items that don’t fit into standard containers, ensuring safe and efficient transport. 

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of calculating chargeable weight for various types of freight, offering insights into the logistics behind shipping costs. For those seeking expertise and efficiency in freight calculations, partnering with a logistics provider like WeFreight can streamline the process and ensure cost-effective shipping solutions. 

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