Chargeable Weight in Sea Shipments

When the cargo does not occupy an FCL and therefore LCL (consolidation) service shipment is needed, or when the cargo should be shipped in breakbulk or bulk form, shipping companies do not use gross weight or volume of the cargo when calculating the freight costs. Instead, they use chargeable weight. But why?

Some goods are heavy, but take very limited space; whereas others are really light but occupy a lot of room in the transport vehicle (container, ship hold, etc.). 

As an example, you can compare marble and fiberglass insulation. 

Marble is dead heavy as 1 cubic meter of marble weighs around 2,500 Kgs. You can reach the gross weight limit of a 40ft dry container by loading around 9 cubic meters of marble. 

Loading efficiency in terms of volume: 9 CBM marble volume / 67 Cbm 40ft container volume=13%

Fiberglass insulation is one of the lightest commodity on the market as 1 cubic meter of fiberglass insulation weights around 80kgs. You can fill the 40ft dry container by loading around 5,360 Kgs of fiberglass insulation.

Loading efficiency in terms of weight: 5,360 Kgs fiberglass insulation weight / 22,000 Kgs loading limit for 40ft container = 24% 

As it is shown in the above example, using either weight or volume as a price determinant for the freight costs would lead to ineffectiveness for the transport companies.

How we calculate chargeable weight in sea shipments?

Sea shipment volumetric weight constant is 1,000 Kgs / CBM when calculating the chargeable weight in sea shipments. 

Step by step calculation process of both volumetric weight and chargeable weight in sea shipments is explained in the following example:

Suppose you want to ship a cargo consisting of 12 packages with the below measurements: 

  • Dimensions of each package: 115 cm X 100 cm X 160cm 
  • Weight of each package: 900kgs/gross weight

Step1: Calculating the gross weight of the cargo: The gross weight of our cargo is 10,800kgs.

Step2: Calculating the volume of the cargo:

  • Dimensions of one package in centimeter => 115 cm X 100 cm X 160cm  
  • Dimensions of one package in meter => 1,15 m X 1 m X 1,6 m 
  • Volume of one package = 1,15 m X 1 m X 1,5 m = 1,84 CBM (Cubic Meter) 
  • Total volume of the cargo = 10 x 1,84 CBM = 18.4 CBM