Unlock the secrets of chargeable weight with our comprehensive guide. Perfect for anyone looking to get a grip on shipping costs. Read on to become an expert!

Understanding Chargeable Weight

What is Chargeable Weight?

Also known as ‘paying weight,’ chargeable weight is the metric that freight companies use to bill you for your shipments. Primarily used in air freight, this weight acts as a conversion factor, bridging the gap between an item’s weight and its volume.

Calculating Chargeable Weight


The chargeable weight could be either the dimensional weight or the gross weight of your cargo—whichever is greater. Here’s how you can determine it:

  1. Volume Calculation: Start by measuring your cargo’s volume in cubic inches using the formula Volume=Length×Width×Height.
  2. Volumetric Weight: Divide the volume by a standard constant—194 for domestic and 166 for international shipments (in pounds) to get the volumetric weight.
  3. Gross Weight: Weigh your cargo on a scale to get the gross weight.
  4. Comparison: The higher of the volumetric or actual weight is taken as the chargeable weight.

A Practical Example: Consider feathers vs. steel plates. Feathers, while light, occupy more space, while steel plates are heavier but more compact. Chargeable weight ensures that both space and weight are factored into the cost.

Key Weights to Know

Actual Weight: The real weight of your product, inclusive of packaging, as recorded on a scale.

Volumetric/Dimensional Weight: Calculated by converting your shipment’s volume into a weight equivalent based on set constants (194 for local and 166 for international).

Chargeable Weight: The greater of the actual or volumetric weights, used as the basis for shipping rates.

The Advantages of Knowing Chargeable Weight

By understanding the chargeable weight before shipping, you can anticipate costs, avoiding unexpected fees at the freight company.

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