Airfreight airlines charge cargo shipment based on chargeable weight, which can be either the actual weight of the cargo or the volumetric weight, whichever is greater. Volumetric weight is something that airfreight airlines use to prevent losing money from transporting big-size but low-density cargo.

The general industry standard for minimum acceptable density is 0.006 m3/kg (cubic metres per kilogram) or 6000 cm3/kg (cubic centimetres per kilogram) is automatically used by our system when a search is performed .

How to calculate volumetric weight?

Let’s say a cargo shipment weighing 150 kg is 100cm in length, 100cm in width and 100cm in height. The total volume of the cargo is 1,000,000 cm3 or 1 m3. Divide total volume by the minimum acceptable density and we will get the volumetric weight.

Step-by-Step Calculation

Actual weight: 150 kg

Total volume: 100cm x 100cm x 100 cm = 1,000,000 cm3 or 1 m3

Volumetric weight: 1,000,000 cm3 ÷ 6000 cm3/kg = 166.67 kg

or 1 m3 ÷ 0.006 m3/kg = 166.67 kg

As airfreight airlines charges are based on the greater weight, in this case, the chargeable weight will be the volumetric weight (166.67kg) instead of the actual weight (150kg).

Do not worry if the calculation is too confusing or too tedious. Our AI-powered system automatically calculates the chargeable weight based on your input of the cargo dimensions and weight.
If there is only one cargo, you can enter the dimensions and weight on the main search page.
If there are more than one type of cargo, you can enter the dimensions and weights via the “input shipment details” dropdown menu.

Click on step-by-step guide for forwarders to read more.

That's it, we hope this article was helpful!

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