How can I calculate the volume weight

Calculate chargeable weight

The transport costs in freight transport depend, among other things, on the weight or volume of a load. The chargeable weight is decisive for this part of the total costs. How exactly is this value defined? What is the difference between chargeable weight, weighing weight and dimensional weight? How is it calculated?

Importance of volume and weight in transport

When transporting goods of all kinds determine the weight and volume of the required loading area in the means of transport. A truck trailer, for example, only has a certain width, length and height. On the one hand, the size with the maximum dimensions determines the maximum volume that the load may have. On the other hand, every truck or every means of transport is only permitted up to a certain total weight. This results in the maximum weight of the load.

From both components, volume and weight, the provider derives the Transportation costs from. Together with other components such as kilometers to be covered, special treatment, loading times, wage costs, etc., this results in a total price for the offer.

There are special features with all means of transport. In maritime shipping, for example, containers are used almost exclusively. The weight plays a subordinate role here, provided it does not exceed the maximum load capacity of the container. The volume is more important here. Because the goods have to fit in the container.

Definition: what is chargeable weight?

Volume and weight are an important calculation basis for determining the transport costs, taking into account the particular characteristics of the means of transport. The aim is to ensure optimal use of loading capacities. Because in this case the company can use its resources perfectly and generate maximum profit. It plays the term chargeable weight a prominent meaning.

Definition: The term chargeable weight refers to the total weight of a consignment of goods, on the basis of which the company calculates the transport costs.

However, the total weight is not always the actual weight of the goods to be transported. Rather, the volume plays a role and can have a significant influence on the chargeable weight. To do this, it is necessary to distinguish between three important terms: chargeable weight, weighing weight and volume weight.

Difference: chargeable weight, weighing weight and dimensional weight

The chargeable weight corresponds to either the weighing weight or the volume weight. Put simply, it is identical to one of them depending on the case. The transport company always calculates the higher value for the transport costs. But what are the differences between the weighing weight and volume weight?

The Weighing weight is the weight of the total weight of the goods. It is the mass in kilograms or tons. Calculating the volume weight is a bit more complicated. Because it is not the actual weight that matters, but the volume of the goods in relation to the loading capacity of the means of transport.

The difference becomes clear with an example. A pallet with iron parts weighs 500 kilograms. This pallet takes up a small part of the cargo space, but has a significant weight. The same weight can take up significantly more space for a different type of goods. If, for example, 500 kilograms of decorative items are packed, more pallets are required - for example four. The volume of the goods therefore takes up four times the space.

Formula for calculating the volume weight

However, there is also another factor that can vary depending on the mode and means of transport and even the transport provider. This is roughly based on the available cargo space and the permissible total weight of the load. From this it derives Volume weight from. The following formula applies:

(Length x width x height of the goods): specified value = volume weight in kg

Depending on the type of goods and the means of transport, the amount may be irrelevant. The relevant value that is specified for the formula is decisive. This is the divisor in the formula. In principle, each provider defines this himself. The calculation models can therefore differ considerably and make a comparison difficult. In addition, there are special features that depend on the means of transport. For sea freight, for example, one cubic meter of goods is always calculated with one ton. This applies even if the actual weight is lower.

However there is standardized values ​​according to which the volume weight is to be calculated

  • In aviation, the value 6,000 is used as a divisor for the formula. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has set the standard weight for one cubic meter of air cargo at 166.7 kg. This results in a divisor of 6,000 in order to arrive at the volume weight that is suitable for the space requirement of one cubic meter, analogous to the formula.
  • The divisor 1,000 applies to ocean freight. This is calculated according to the standard weight per cubic meter of sea freight of 1,000 kg. Important: Lighter goods are still charged at one ton.
  • For truck freight In principle, a standard weight per cubic meter of freight of 333 kilograms applies. Based on this value, the result is a divisor of 3,000. However, loading meters (maximum possible weight per meter of loading area depending on the permissible total weight) can play a role in the calculation. The following applies: A euro pallet uses 0.4 loading meters, a lattice box 0.5 loading meters. A loading meter is approx. 240 x 100 cm (2.40 m standard width on one meter of transport area) and can carry around 1.7 tons of weight, depending on the truck. This changes the formula and the maximum weight per loading meter is always calculated if the weight is lower. Deviating from this, some shipping companies calculate the volume weight individually according to the actual trailer, others set values ​​for the divisor of the formula for all transports in the company. In this case, these often vary between 4,000 and 6,000. Despite a theoretical standard weight, the calculation differs from case to case, unlike in practice for sea and air freight.

The chargeable weight is always the higher value!

When determining the chargeable weight, it is therefore crucial that the higher value always applies: Either the weighing weight or the volume weight. The chargeable weight is identical to this higher value and is therefore the basis for further calculation of the transport costs.