How to calculate chargeable weight under airfreight in exports?

  The information provided here is part of Export Import Training course online


How to calculate chargeable weight under airfreight in exports and imports.


Freight charge under air shipment is calculated on the basis of weight of cargo. Commonly a question arises here, whether actual weight or chargeable weight?


In an air How to calculate chargeable weight for airfreight in exportsshipment, airfreight charge is calculated on the basis of actual weight or volume weight, which ever is higher. Then what is  Volume weight? How to find volume weight?


Chargeable weight is an equilibrium point where in actual weight and volume of cargo balance.


Why chargeable weight in airfreight?


Let me explain the importance of volume weight in airfreight. Why do air carrier balance weight and volume of cargo?


Let me explain the importance of chargeable weight in simple terms. If a shipper exports cotton, the actual weight of cotton is very low but occupies a good amount of space as a volume. In this case, if airfreight is charges on the basis of actual weight of cargo, the said shipper needs to pay a very nominal airfreight compared to a shipper who exports iron plates. Am I right? Here is the importance of volume weight by considering volume of cargo and actual weight of cargo at an equilibrium point.

Calculation of chargeable weight in airfreight.

In order to find volume weight of cargo you need to have measurement of package of goods.If the cargo measurement are in centimeters, the total volume of cm3 to be divided with 6000. In other words, if the volume is in cubic meter (CBM), the said volume in M3 to be divided with 0.006. Air carriers charge airfreight on the basis of volume weight or actual gross weight which ever is higher.

So the chargeable weight is calculated on the basis of volume weight or gross weight, whichever is highter.

Let me explain to calculate volume weight weight in simple language to make understand easily. I am going to explain with 3 examples, the method of calculation of chargeable airfreight for export shipments.


You have three shipments to be exported separately. Measurement of cargo length, width and height


Shipment 1:

Gross weight =750kgs

Measurement of cargo = 102cm X 98cm X 106cm = 1 box
80cm X 65cm X 103cm = 3 boxes

Total volume = 1059576 +(535600X3) = 2666376 cubic centimeter

Total volume weight = 2666376 / 6000 = 444.396kgs

Here in shipment No: 1, the gross weight is 750kgs and volume weight is 444.396kgs. Hence,  Chargeable weight is 750 kgs which is also gross weight, 750kgs (which is greater)


Shipment 2:

Gross weight = 850kgs

Measurement of cargo = 120cm X 160cm X 115cm = 2 boxes
75cm X 130cm X 125cm = 2 boxes

Total volume = 4416000 + 2437500 =6853500 cubic centimeter

Total volume weight = 6853500 / 6000 = 1142.25kgs

Here in shipment No:2, the gross weight is 850kgs and volume weight is 1142.25kgs. Hence, airfreight is charged on the basis of volume weight, 1142.25kgs.  Here, the chargeable weight is 1142.25kgs.


Shipment 3:

Gross weight : 950kgs.

Measurement of cargo = 1 meter X 1.05 meter X 0.85 meter = 2 boxes
0.7 meter X 1.50 meter X 0.60 meter= 3 boxes

Total volume = (0.8925 X 2) + ( 0.63 X 3)
1.785 + 1.89 = 3.675 cubic meter

Total volume weight = 3.675 / .006 = 612.50kgs

Although almost all airlines calculate volume weight on the basis of above calculation (6000), FEDEX calculate volume weight on the basis of 5000.

Here in shipment No:3, the gross weight is 950kgs and volume  weight is 612.50kgs. Hence, airfreight is charged on the basis of actual gross weight of 950kgs which is greater than volume weight.   So chargeable weight under this shipment no.3 is 950kgs.   Also note, the measurement in shipment 3 is in meter and volume calculation also may be noted.


Also read - Why do carriers balance weight and volume while charging freight amount in Exports?

How to calculate CBM in LCL export shipments   

I hope, I could explain in simple language about calculation of chargeable weight.


Would you like to share your experience in handling chargeable weight in air exports or air imports?


The above information is a part of Import Export Training course online

Write below your comments about chargeable weight. 


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Gokara Sunil: What is reason/base for taking 6000 for the calculation of chargeable weight.

surendran: May be equilibrium

zara: hello, thanks for posting all these useful examples. on example no 3, why didnt you divide the m3 by 6000 ? you did it by .006 ? thanks

Surendran Kollerath: Hi Zara, This is as per standard calculation method accepted the authorities worldwide

Surendran Kollerath: Hi Zara, This is as per standard calculation method accepted the authorities worldwide

andrew: Thanks for this. The problem I am having relates to an exam question on providing costs to several companies. An aircraft is chartered at USD 105,000 which has a capacity of 38mt/166cbm. Several companies want to load their cargo onto the plane which will result in some paying actual weight and some paying chargeable weight. How do you split the costs so that they meet at USD105,000? Do you divide the USD105,000 by mt and use this rate to times the chareable? Thanks!

Catharine: Hello! This was extremely helpful for me in anticipating our air freight costs. Especially when importing packing materials (foam forms), which are very light -- but take up considerable space on pallets. We were expecting the freight cost to be cheaper because they are lighter and were surprised when the real cost was revealed! Thank you for this very helpful lesson in Chargeable Weight vs Gross Weight, it has been very valuable for me!

Himanshu Wason : I am interesting in export and import service . I just want to from where to begin and how to became CHA , when did commissioner of custom makes the announcement for new applicant to apply for CHA licence.

Admin: Himanshu Wason, Government calls for CHA License time to time. You may contact Customs head quarters for more details and track.

Balakumar.S: I need details for what are all the documentation require for export & import process for sea & air freight??

Kiran Sabnis : My query is AIR CIF calculation is given as below and further added how Sea freight rate can be considered to calculate AIR Freight , i)For Air Cargo:Actual air freight, but not exceeding 20% of f.o.b value ii)Where actual sea/air freight is not ascertainable:20% of f.o.b value iii)Where actual insurance is not ascertainable:1.125% of f.o.b value Where goods are generally imported by sea but due to urgent demand they were imported by air, only sea freight is to be added. Insurance charges paid on the Customs duty are, however, not includible in the assessable value since they relate to post-importation factor. Landing charges realized by Port authorities have also to be added at the prescribed flat rate of 1% of C.I.F value, or on actual basis unless seller or his agent is under obligation to bear it as part of CIF value. Please advice on how can Sea freight calculations can be used for assessment please iadvice if there is any Customs Notification / Circular regarding this.

Bharti Narnaware: Reason for taking 6000 for the calculation of chargeable weight?

S.Prabakaran: what is the cost of shipping to send kilograms cocunut

Raymond Aculey: Look, you are too good!!!!!!!!

Sanjeevanee: Hi sir, thank you for the information . my confusion is if there are 5 Boxes consignment in that 2 Boxes are having actual weight more than volumetric weight & 3 Boxes hving more actual weight than it volumetric weight in total how this consignment will get charged ? will b considering all boxes actual weight or all boxes volumetric weight whichever is higher ? or it will b billed considering each box volumetric n actual weight means 2boxes actual Weight + 3 Boxes volumetric weight kindly advice.

Hamidul islam: please explain how to calculate of C&F VAT & AIT & other chages

Navin Kumar: Good day to you! Hello, my name is Navin Kumar and I work in Express Wheel Delivery. Currently, we are offering a new service called Freight Broker, whereby we will handle all logistics matters for your business. Based on your profile, I thought you would be a good contact to make this happen. If not, I might be able to speak with the person who deals with that. I'd like to speak with a decision-maker from your company responsible for the relevant service we provide. If it is you who makes those decisions, fantastic! Could we speak to talk about how Express Wheel Delivery can help your company with logistics? Among the services we offer are: 1. Airfreight 2. Sea freight 3. Ground freight 4. Customs Brokerage 5. Warehousing 6. Break bulk 7. Pick up / Delivery 8. Special Equipment 9. Insurance coverage I'm waiting for your response, I hope you can contact me soon, I appreciate your consideration of my request. Regard

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