Often in freight forwarding the terms actual weight, gross weight, chargeable weight, can be used and quite often are confused with each other's meaning. In this blog post we go through the differences between these terms to help you prepare for your next shipment.
More often than not, importers/exporters approach freight forwarders and couriers about quotes on cargo that weighs XYZ. What they often forget to also provide in order for the quote to reflect the chargeable amount, is the dimensions of the cargo, which plays an important factor in determining the final charges.
Actual weight, or gross weight, is the weight in kgs of the cargo, including packaging and pallets. Another just as important metric is the Dimensional or Volumetric weight of the cargo, which is the amount of space your cargo occupies, converted into weight equivalent. Once these two variables are known, your freight forwarder will then be able to quote you on the Chargeable weight, which is the greater of the previous two.
The conversion of 'space', or volume to weight, varies by mode of transport and sometimes also by trade lane. The below table shows how various carriers may calculate volumetric weight.
Therefore, when submitting information for a quote, you should provide as much information as you can, in order to receive an accurate chargeable weight figure. At the minimum, you should know how much it weighs in gross kgs, as well as the total dimensions (W x L x H) of the cargo, including any packaging or pallets provided by the shipper. Your freight forwarder will then convert your dimensional weight to kg equivalent, and take the higher figure based on the conversion and the actual weight, to give you a quote on the chargeable weight.
For more information on how volumetric weight and actual weight affects your quote, contact your respective Customer Success Manager.
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