Weight is important when it comes to product shipping.
Net weight and gross weight are two types of weight that come up whenever shipping comes up.
The difference between them and how important they are to shipping often raises lots of questions.
This guide answers all the frequently asked questions about these two weight types.
- What does Net Weight Mean in International Shipping?
- What is Gross Weight in International Shipping?
- What is the Difference between Gross Weight and Net Weight?
- How do you Calculate Gross Weight for Shipping?
- How do you Calculate Net Weight?
- How do you Calculate Gross Weight from Net Weight?
- What is Weight Break Point?
- What is Tare Weight?
- What is the Relationship between Net Weight VS Gross Weight VS Tare Weight?
- What is the Importance of Tare Weight in shipping?
- Does Net Weight Consider Tare Weight in Calculating Freight Costs?
- What is CWT in Shipping?
- How do you Calculate Freight Charges with CWT Rates?
- What is L5C?
- How Many CBM is 1kg?
- How do you Calculate Shipment Weight per Hundred?
- What is Total Gross Weight?
- Do Freight Brokers consider Shipment Weight when Calculating Rates?
- Which Weight between Net Weight and Gross Weight should be declared in a Container Bill of Lading?
- Is Gross Weight the same as Volumetric Weight?
- How do you Calculate Courier Chargeable Weight?
- What is the Distance between Chargeable Weight and Gross Weight?
- How does Net Weight VS Gross Weight affect Shipping Costs?
- What is Deficit Weight Charge?
- Why is it Important to Understand Gross Weight VS Net Weight?
- What adds Weight Cost during Shipping?
What does Net Weight Mean in International Shipping?
Net weight is known as the overall weight of your goods alone outside the container.
Net weight is also the complete weight of your cargo, minus the tare weight of your container.
Most people are quite familiar with net weight because it is usually written on product packages.
weighing the product without the packaging to get the Net weight
What is Gross Weight in International Shipping?
Gross weight is identified as the weight of the products plus the weight of whatever packaging it comes in.
For example, the gross weight of liquid items equals how much the liquid weighs plus that of the bottle or can as well.
If the products are packed in a can, then later in a carton, the weight of the carton is added too.
As regards shipment in a container, gross weight is the product weight plus tare weight.
weighing the product with the packaging to get the gross weight.
What is the Difference between Gross Weight and Net Weight?
Some of the main differences between gross weight and net weight are as follows:
- Gross weight is the sum of the goods’ weight plus the container and packaging, while net weight is the weight of the goods.
- Gross weight accounts for how much the packaging weighs, but the net weight does not.
- The calculation of Gross weight varies according to transport type, but net weight is constant for all modes of transport.
- The gross weight is calculated by addition, while the net weight is gotten from deducting the tare from the gross weight.
How do you Calculate Gross Weight for Shipping?
You can calculate the gross weight by adding the product’s net weight to the tare weight of the container.
In air transport, the gross weight calculation includes the plane’s weight, fuel used, and people on board.
All these other weights (plane’s weight etc.) are added to the net and tare weight to give the gross weight.
In road transport, the weight of the truck/bus is added to the tare weight and net weight to get the gross weight.
In water transport, gross weight is just net weight plus tare weight.
The easiest way to calculate gross weight is first to weigh the product without the packaging.
Record that weight.
Then weigh the packaging. After getting these two weights, you add them up to give you the gross weight.
The formula for calculating gross weight can be written mathematically as:
Gross weight = Tare weight + Net weight.
How do you Calculate Net Weight?
To calculate the product’s net weight, you have to first determine the gross and the tare weight.
You then deduct the tare weight from the value of the gross weight.
This gives you the net weight.
To get the net weight of your product, you first weigh the product while in its packaging.
Remove the product from its container.
Then weigh the container.
Remember, the first weight is your gross weight while the second is tare weight.
Subtract the tare weight from the gross weight, and that gives you the gross weight.
The mathematical formula for net weight can be written as follows:
Net weight = Gross weight – Tare weight.
How do you Calculate Gross Weight from Net Weight?
If you have the net weight of your product, you calculate the gross weight by adding the empty container’s weight.
For example, if the net weight of a product is 10,000 pounds, and it is packaged in a 50,000-pound container.
Then, the gross weight will be 60,000 pounds, that is, 50,000 pounds + 10,000 pounds.
What is Weight Break Point?
A weight break-point is the particular weight a shipment gets to, to qualify for bulk discount rates.
It is also referred to as the weight threshold.
It is mostly applicable to less than truckload (LTL) shipments.
What is Tare Weight?
Tare weight refers to the weight of your products’ container/ packaging when empty, i.e., without any products in it.
It can also be called unladen weight.
Tare weight is important in calculating both net weight and gross weight.
If you deduct the tare weight from the value of the gross weight, you get the net weight.
You also need to add the tare weight to the net weight, to arrive at the gross weight.
What is the Relationship between Net Weight VS Gross Weight VS Tare Weight?
To calculate the net weight or gross weight, you need the tare weight and vice versa.
Net weight = Gross weight- Tare weight
Gross weight = Tare weight + Net weight
Tare weight = Gross weight – Net weight
What is the Importance of Tare Weight in shipping?
- Knowing your tare weight makes it easier for you to determine the weight of your products.
- Tare weight helps you calculate shipping expenses that have to do with the weight of your products alone.
- Without the tare weight, you cannot determine the gross weight of your shipments.
- Having an idea of shipping containers’ tare weight helps you choose the right container for your shipment.
Does Net Weight Consider Tare Weight in Calculating Freight Costs?
Some shipments may be heavy, due to the type of packaging the products are put in.
In cases like this, especially if the product itself is not heavy, the tare weight will be considered.
The weight of shipment factors into how much shipping it would cost.
Therefore, the net weight, tare weight, and gross weight have to be taken into consideration.
What is CWT in Shipping?
CWT simply means hundredweight.
The CWT is a unit of weight measurement which is used mostly in less than truckload shipments.
Charges for less than truckload shipments are usually calculated per hundredweight.
This simply means that if a 1000 pound shipment price is $20 CWT, the total cost is $200.
The CWT value differs depending on what continent you are in.
Besides, the British CWT value is 112 pounds, as opposed to 100 pounds in the United States.
Furthermore, the 100-pound value CWT is called a “short hundredweight,” while the 112-pound value is known as a “long hundredweight”.
The reason for creating the hundredweight was to have a universal standard unit of measurement to simplify intercontinental trade.
How do you Calculate Freight Charges with CWT Rates?
There are certain factors you need to consider when calculating freight charges using CWT rates.
- The weight of your cargo: CWT rates are mostly applicable to less than truckload shipments.
The rates are set up so that the amount you per CWT reduces as the weight of your shipment increases.
You need to look at the CWT scale and pick the applicable weight break-point to calculate freight charges.
See the sample CWT rate scale below, notice how the weight features:
From the above scale, you can see the weight of the cargo in pounds and the different weight breakpoints.
The first amount is $55, which is the least amount that can be charged for small shipments.
The next weight break is the LTL, and it is for shipments larger than the minimum, but less than 500lbs.
After the LTL, the next weight break is for 500lbs. The charge is for shipments between 500-1000lbs.
Looking at the scale, you can see that the charge reduces as the weight increases.
To calculate the freight charge:
I. You first need to figure out which weight break applies to your cargo weight.
II. Then divide the total weight of your shipment by 100 to get your hundredweight
III. The next thing to do is to multiply the number you get by the rate applicable to your shipment’s weight.
Let us calculate the amount a 3,500 lbs shipment would cost, using the rating scale above.
- (3500 lbs/100) x 11. 25 = $393.75
We calculated using the 2000lbs scale because that’s the closest to 3,500.
Let us also try calculating using the 5,000 lbs scale
- (5000 lbs/100) x 7.50 = $375.00
Please note that you can calculate using the higher scale, only if it is less expensive than that which your product falls under.
If the scale your product falls under is cheaper than the higher scale, then you use the appropriate scale.
The shipment will get an invoice using the 5000lbs scale since it is less expensive in the above example.
- Cubic density: this also determines how high or low your freight charge would be, using CWT rates.
- Distance: the farther the distance, the more the charge per hundredweight would be.
What is L5C?
This is an abbreviation used in determining less than truckload carrier rates.
The two letters and figure that make up the abbreviation stand for something individually.
i. L stands for the numerical operator, ‘less than.’
ii. The number 5 is the multiplier, i.e., the number by which you multiply
iii. C stands for the Roman numeral Centum, which means a hundred. It is the number to be multiplied.
From this definition, L5C translates as, less than 5 x 100.
It can also be written as <500.
How Many CBM is 1kg?
CBM means cubic meter, and it is calculated using the dimensions of the shipment. 1 CBM is equivalent to 1 kg.
How do you Calculate Shipment Weight per Hundred?
To calculate per hundredweight of your shipment, you need to first know the shipment’s original weight.
Then you divide the shipment weight by 100, and that gives you your per hundredweight.
What is Total Gross Weight?
Total gross weight refers to the weight of the product, plus that of the package or container containing it.
To get the total gross weight, you also need to add the weight of the transport vessel.
The weight of the fuel used in the vessel is added too to get the total gross weight.
Total gross weight encompasses even the weight of the passengers and crew on the vessel.
Do Freight Brokers consider Shipment Weight when Calculating Rates?
The shipment’s weight is probably one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to freight rates.
Freight brokers use the weight of your shipment to determine the weight breakpoint under which your shipment falls.
Which Weight between Net Weight and Gross Weight should be declared in a Container Bill of Lading?
The weight that should be declared on the bill of lading, is the cargo gross weight.
It is important to note that the cargo gross weight is different from the container gross weight.
The cargo gross weight means the product weight alone + weight of any form of packaging attached to it.
That is the product weight, including the weight of boxes, cartons, or cans that it is put in.
The tare weight of the shipping container does not feature in the cargo gross weight.
For the container gross weight, you add the cargo’s gross weight to the container’s tare weight.
There is also the container net weight, which is usually the same value as the cargo gross weight.
It refers to the weight of the packaged cargo in the container, but without the container’s tare weight.
The cargo gross weight is the weight featured on the bill of lading.
It can also be the container’s net weight, which is the same value as the cargo gross weight.
It is necessary to include this weight in the bill of lading because some goods prices are determined by weight.
The net weight is almost irrelevant on the bill of lading because most products come in some sort of packaging.
Since the net weight does not account for the packaging’s weight, it is not comprehensive enough.
Different shipping lines identify the gross weight in various ways on their bills of lading.
For example, the MAERSK shipping company states theirs as just ‘weight.’
The CMA-CGM and MSC shipping lines state theirs as ‘gross cargo weight.’
Some other companies state theirs as ‘gross weight’ or ‘total gross weight’.
The bottom line is that, whatever way the shipping company states it, know that it is the cargo gross weight.
how different companies label weight in their bill of lading
Is Gross Weight the same as Volumetric Weight?
The answer to the above question is NO! Gross weight is as different from the volumetric weight as night is from the day.
A shipment’s gross weight refers to the weight of the cargo and that of the packaging.
Volumetric weight is how much your cargo weighs, as determined by its dimension.
Usually, you can estimate volumetric weight using the length, width, and height of the cargo.
It is necessary to know the volumetric weight because some lightweight goods could occupy more space than heavier ones.
Some heavy goods might come in smaller packaging and occupy less space on the shipping vessel.
Dimensions of a product packaging used to calculate the volumetric weight.
How do you Calculate Courier Chargeable Weight?
The chargeable weight of a shipment is usually calculated using either the gross weight or the volumetric weight.
This is dependent on which of the weights is larger.
For example, a light cargo’s chargeable weight in a large package is gotten from the volumetric weight.
The chargeable weight of a heavy package in portable packaging would be the gross weight because it is bigger.
The larger of the two weights is usually taken as the chargeable weight.
Below are some examples to further explain how to calculate volumetric weight, and get your chargeable weight:
Example 1: in this case, the gross weight is bigger than the volumetric weight
The Shiro Company has a shipment going from Los Angeles to Tokyo.
There are six cartons in this shipment, weighing 35kgs each.
Each carton measures 48 x 40 x 20 cms / 20 x 12 x 12 inches.
The Gross Weight = 6cartons x 35kgs each = 210kg
Volumetric Weight in kilograms = (48 x 40 x 20) cm x 6 cartons/ 5000 = 46kg (using centimeters)
Volumetric weight in kilograms = (20 x 12 x 12) x 6 cartons/ 305 = 57kg (using inches)
The chargeable weight is the gross weight which is 210kg, because it is bigger than the volumetric weight.
Example 2: in this case, the volumetric weight is bigger than the gross weight
The Shiro Company has a shipment going from Los Angeles to Tokyo.
The shipment contains two cartons weighing 10kg each.
Each carton measures 48 x 40 x 20 cms / 20 x 12 x 12 inches.
The Gross Weight = 2 cartons x 10kgs each = 20kg
Volumetric Weight in kilograms = (48 x 40 x 20) cm x 3 cartons/ 5000 = 23kg (using centimeters)
Volumetric Weight in kilograms = (20 x 12 x 12) x 3 cartons/ 305 = 28kg (using inches)
The chargeable weight in this case is the volumetric weight, which is 28kg, because it is bigger than the gross weight.
the gross weight and volumetric weight calculations
What is the Distance between Chargeable Weight and Gross Weight?
The chargeable weight is the weight that your shipping company uses to calculate how much your shipment costs.
Gross weight refers to the weight of the product, and any form of packaging.
Chargeable weight could be either the gross weight or the volumetric weight.
The carrier company considers both the actual weight of your product and the dimensional weight.
The chargeable weight is determined by the bigger one between the volumetric weight and the gross weight.
The chargeable weight could sometimes be equal to the gross weight.
If you place, let’s say, a kilogram of feathers in a large box, the chargeable weight will not be 1kg.
The chargeable weight in this instance would be gotten from the dimensional weight, which is gotten from the dimensions of the box.
Some shipment records have both actual weight (gross weight) and chargeable weight written on them.
This is because the shipper gives his shipping company the shipment’s actual weight in the quotation he sends them.
The shipping company then calculates the chargeable weight and includes it in the invoice.
How does Net Weight VS Gross Weight affect Shipping Costs?
The weight of any shipment is one of the most important factors that determine shipping costs. Also, the net weight refers to how much the product weighs outside the packaging.
The gross weight is the net weight plus the weight of any carton or box that serves as the package.
For very important shipments that need to get to their destination speedily, the weight and distance affect the shipping cost.
For air freight shipping, the shape and weight of the shipment affect the shipping cost.
Again, the shape determines what the dimensional weight will be.
The dimensional or volumetric weight is important in air freight.
This is because the dimensions of a product tell you how much space it would occupy.
Airlines are usually careful not to carry too many bulky parcels on one plane at a time.
A package containing 1kg of paper might cost more than 1kg of iron.
This will happen if the paper package is larger in dimension than the one containing iron.
Usually, shipments that weigh more tend to get bulk discount rates.
Generally, being able to tell the net weight and gross weight of your shipment makes shipping easier.
Your shipment’s weight determines its weight breakpoint and the discount applied to your shipping cost.
You can reduce your shipping costs by using lighter or smaller packaging materials.
This then reduces the overall gross weight and, in turn, reduces shipping costs.
What is Deficit Weight Charge?
When it comes to calculating CWT rates, the weight breakpoint is important.
Sometimes, a product’s weight could be lower than the higher rank weight group, but not up to it.
In this case, the CWT rate can be gotten using the higher weight breakpoint.
The deficit weight is the difference between the shipment’s actual weight and that of the higher weight rank.
Also, the amount your shipping company charges you for the deficit weight is the deficit weight charge.
For example, using the CWT rate scale below, you will better understand the weight deficit charge.
In the CWT rate scale above, the charge is $21.34 for shipments more than 500lbs, but less than 1000lbs.
Assuming a shipment’s weight is 950lbs, it would be cheaper to calculate its charge using 1000lbs instead.
In this scenario, the deficit weight is calculated as 1000lbs minus 950lbs, which is equal to 50lbs.
The shipping company would then charge you $55 for the extra. $55 is the least amount for small shipments, as seen in the scale above.
Remember, the above deficit weight can be represented mathematically as:
(1000 – 950 = 50) lbs
The deficit weight charge is important because it allows you to get the best price for your shipments.
Why is it Important to Understand Gross Weight VS Net Weight?
- Understanding gross weight and the net weight is important, especially for large shipments.
Knowing about these weight types enables you to figure out your cost of shipping and production.
- When you know your product’s weight, you can tell what sort of packaging or container suits it best.
- Another importance of net weight and gross weight is that they help you know your shipping container’s weight.
- When you understand the net weight and gross weight, you know which one needs to be on your bill of lading.
- Familiarizing yourself with net weight and gross weight allows shippers to ship within slated rules and regulations.
- Understanding the net weight and gross weight means you will better understand invoice from freight brokers.
- Having a better understanding of net weight and gross weight means you can estimate your shipping cost on your own.
What adds Weight Cost during Shipping?
During shipping, the gross weight is usually what determines the cost of the shipment.
In cases where the volumetric weight is more than the gross weight, it serves as the chargeable weight.
The weight cost during shipping could increase if you package your product using heavy or large packaging materials.
Arranging your products in a disorderly manner inside the box or cartons means they would occupy more space.
More space equals a higher volumetric weight, ergo a higher chargeable weight too.
The size of the carton or box you use in packing your products also affects your shipping cost.
Choosing a large box or carton to package your cargo, also accounts for the increase in shipping costs.
In short, a proper understanding of new weight and gross weight in critical when shipping from China.
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