Are chargeable weight and volumetric weight the same?

On my previous article I have explained how to calculate chargeable weight not only in air shipments but also sea and road shipments as well.

When I was writing my article I have read couple of websites, who mentioned that chargeable weight and volumetric weight as if they are the same concepts.

Unfortunately it is not true. Chargeable weight and volumetric weight (also known as dimensional weight) are not the same concepts.

Do you want to learn why? Please keep reading...


What is a volumetric weight?

Volumetric weight is an hypothetical weight calculated by multiplying the gross volume of the cargo by the volumetric weight constant of the selected mode of transport. 

Please keep in mind that each mode of transport ( air shipments, sea shipment, road shipment) has a different volumetric weight constant.

On below table you can find volumetric weight constants for air, sea and road transportation.
Volumetric weight constants for air, sea and road shipments: Air shipment volumetric weight constant = 167 kgs / cbm Sea shipment volumetric weight constant = 1000 kgs / cbm Road shipment volumetric weight constant = 333 kgs / cbm

How to calculate volumetric weight?

In order to calculate the volumetric weight, you have to identify the gross volume of the cargo in cubic meters (cbm). After you figured out the gross volume of the cargo, you can reach volumetric weight simply multiplying it with the appropriate volumetric weight constant.

Volumetric weight calculation example:

I want to explain you volumetric weight calculation with an example.

Let us assume that we want to ship a cargo, which consists of 50 packages with the following dimensions. This shipment presumed to be arranged via air shipment.
  • Dimensions of each package: 100cmx60cmx50cm 
  • Weight of each package: 40kgs/gross weight

Step 1 : Calculating the gross volume of the cargo: In order to reach the volumetric weight, you should calculate the volume of the cargo in cubic meters.
  • Dimensions of one package in centimetre => 100cm x 60cm x 50 cm 
  • Dimensions of one package in metre => 1m x 0,6m x 0,5m 
  • Volume of one package = 1m x 0,6m x 0,5m = 0,3 cbm (cubic metre) 
  • Total volume of the cargo = 50 x 0,3 cbm = 15 cbm
Step 2 : Calculating the volumetric weight of the cargo: You should multiply the volume of the cargo with air shipment volumetric weight constant, in order to reach the volumetric weight.  

Air shipment volumetric weight constant = 167 kgs / cbm
Volumetric Weight= Total volume of the cargo x air shipment volumetric weight constant
Volumetric Weight= 15 cbm x 167 kgs/ cbm = 2505 kgs

How to determine chargeable weight of the cargo?

You have to compare the actual gross weight with the calculated volumetric weight, in order to determine the chargeable weight of the shipments.
  • If actual gross weight is bigger than volumetric weight, then the chargeable weight is the actual gross weight. 
  • If volumetric weight is bigger than actual gross weight, then the chargeable weight is the volumetric weight. 
In my above example, I have calculated the volumetric weight as 2505kgs. Actual gross weight of the cargo is (50 packages x 40 kgs/package) 2000kgs.
As you can see volumetric weight is bigger than the actual gross weight, which means that I have to use volumetric weight as chargeable weight under these conditions.

But if the gross weight were bigger than the volumetric weight, then I had to use actual gross weight as chargeable weight.

Conclusion:

Volumetric weight and chargeable weight are not the same concepts. They may or may not be showing the same number, depending on the comparison between the actual gross weight and the volumetric weight of the cargo.
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