 All cargo airlines and even passenger airlines base the weight of an air freight on what they call a chargeable weight, whether is a volumetric weight or a physical weight. Every gram has an obvious impact on the air shipment price they charge.

First of all, in order to calculate how much weight you are going to pay, you need to have measurement of package of goods and also weighing it. Find out how this weight is calculated and what needs to be considered to get the shipment cost.

What does it mean by a chargeable weight?

All airlines charge according, to a weight of a air shipment received. You may question, what do you mean by that? The chargeable weight is the actual gross physical weight or the volumetric weight of the commodity, whichever is greater is what they go by.

For instance, a large box filled with styrofoam its weight is light ,yet it takes up more space on an aircraft, than a small box filled with heavy items.

Calculation of a Volumetric Weight and Physical Weight

In order to find the volume weight of an item, first you need to measure the package.
By getting the length, the width and the high and then by weighing physically the same package on a scale.

For instance you have a package which dimensions are: 48 inches (length) x 40 (width) inches x 68 inches (high) and the scale physical weight is 1,200 lbs (pounds).
When you multiply 48 x 40 x 68 = 130,560, then divided by 166 = 786 lbs. This is the volume weight found on this item. Therefore as you can see the greater weight used to calculate the air shipment cost obviously is 1,200 lbs. which is the physical weight

Now let’s say we have a package which dimensions are: 160 inches x 25 inches x 10 inches = 40,000, then divided by 166 = 240 lbs (this is the volume weight) and the physical weight is only 80 lbs. The chargeable weight is obviously 240 lbs. which is greater.

What if we have 5 packages with the same measurement, what we have to do is multiply 160 x 25 x 10 and result multiply by 5 and then divided by 166 = 1,204 lbs. and the physical weight is 80 lbs each, therefore 5 x 80 lbs = 400 lbs. in this case the chargeable weight is 1,204 lbs.

The formula for calculating the dimensional weight for all kind of products is 166 cubic inches per pound. (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 (cm).

If you are shipping more than 1 piece, you may multiple the outcome of the formula by the number of pieces in your air  shipment.

If the shipment is given in centimeter, then the formula to be used is : Length x Width x Height divided by 6000 . You will get the result in kilos.

In other words:
To obtain the dimensional weight in kilograms, divide the cubic inch result by 366.
• To obtain the dimensional weight in pounds, divide the cubic inch result by 166.
• To obtain the dimensional weight in kilograms, divide the cubic centimeter result by 6000. If the dimensional weight of an item is greater than the actual weight, you will use it to calculate the transportation charges.

The two main factors that affect the final cost of an air shipment are the weight and the volume occupied in the airplane. In the field of transportation and logistics, the parameter to be used to calculate the shipment rate is the physical weight / volume ratio.

If you still are a little confused about chargeable weight of an air freight cargo, do not feel helpless and let us know and we will be happy to answer any doubt you may have.