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Calculating Chargeable Weight for Air Freight Shipments
The Chargeable Weight of Air Freight shipments are calculated as the Actual Weight (Gross Weight) or the Volumetric (also called Volume or Dimensional) Weight of the shipment, whichever is the greater. This uses an estimated weight that is calculated based on the dimensions (length, width and height) of a package (shipments are always shown in the order of L x W x H). Typically, large items with a light overall weight take up more space on an aircraft than a small, heavy item. That’s why the Airlines charge according to Chargeable Weight.
Chargeable weight is commonly used by air freight forwarders.
For those of you who simply want the formulas without a detailed explanation, here you go:
The formula for calculating the volume/dimensional weight for all commodities is 6000 cubic centimeters per kilogram or 366 cubic inches per kilogram.
Multiply the length by the width by the height to obtain the cubic inches, then:
• To obtain the dimensional weight in pounds using inches, divide the cubic inch result by 166
• To obtain the dimensional weight in kilograms using inches, divide the cubic inch result by 366
• Using Dimensions in Centimeters: To obtain the dimensional weight in kilograms using centimeters, divide the cubic centimeter result by 6000
Some definitions and formulas to start:
Chargeable Weight: the greater of actual weight vs. volume weight of a shipment. Chargeable weight is an equilibrium point where the actual weight and volume weight of cargo balance out for the airline, BUT, keep in mind that if the actual weight of the cargo is higher than the “equilibrium point”, the air freight charges are billed on that actual weight.