The terms gross weight and net weight are most frequently seen when measuring the mass of carriage or any parceled items. While shipping your product, it is very important to know the weight of it.
On all the documentations related to the delivery weight of the package will be mentioned. Because it is an important piece of information for a freight forwarder in order to find out the cost.
Therefore, it is important for a shipper as well to know what exactly weights are and how they are differentiated.
For the ease of our readers, we have created this blog as a complete guide where you can learn the differences between gross weight and net weight. What’s more, in this blog, you can also learn about the compute mode of them.
To understand the price quoted by your freight forwarder, it is important for you to know in what measures to they estimate the price.
Usually, they perform price approximation while looking at the weight of the package or the shipment. And such prices vary on basis of net weight and the gross weight.
The accuracy of the product’s weight is the most important thing you need to check before shipping. It not only will affect the shipping price, but also the shipping company will judge how they can manage the shipment.
All the freight transporting methods have their own weight limit, and because of that, before shipping, the company will calculate every goods carefully to ensure that there won’t be overweight.
What’s more, the weight of each container is very important for keep the balance.
For example, for those freight forwarders, they will note down the gross and net weight of every container in detail.
For the reason that there’s too much weight on the ship, or if there’s too much weight on one side of the ship, the ship will eventually sink.
In order to calculate the gross weight and net weight, you need to know the tare weight of the shipment.
The tare weight is the total weight of the container and in lay man’s language, you can say that the weight of the box in which the product or item has been shipped, and the net weight will be covered in this guide further in detail.
Thus, the tare weight must be included in order to calculate the gross weight of a package.
The word “net” here represents the final summation in which no further subtraction or anything can be made. In ‘net’ only the item excluding the vessel or container is considered. Now the same concept follows with the net weight.
Net weight is the weight of the item only which is to be delivered, it does not include any weight of the container or the vessel in which the product has to be delivered, neither it includes any packaging or wrapping.
The word “gross” here represents the total summation without subtracting anything. Now the same concept follows with the gross weight.
The gross weight includes all of the weight that the shipment has come across on board. It is the total weight of the object which also includes the mass that comes with the consignment.
The weight added, could include the packing, wrapping or anything that is used to ensure safe delivery of the shipment.
The gross weight considered could be different in view of the several transportation mediums for delivery of the shipment.
Other than that, the gross weight also includes not only the net weight but also the weight of any shipment container etc., such as:
||The word “gross” here represents the total summation without subtracting anything.
||The word “net” here represents the final summation in which no further subtraction or anything can be made
||The gross weight includes all of the weight that the shipment has come across on board. It is the total weight of the object which also includes the mass that comes with the consignment. The weight added, could include the packing, wrapping or anything that is used to ensure safe delivery of the shipment.
||Net weight is the weight of the item only which is to be delivered, it does not include any weight of the container or the vessel in which the product has to be delivered, neither it includes any packaging or wrapping
||it considers the weight of the package including the weight of the vessel
||it does not consider the weight of the package including the weight of the vessel
|Mode of Transportation
||Gross weight varies from mode to mode of transportation
||it remains same in all the modes of transportation
||Gross Weight is calculated by the formula
Gross weight = Tare weight + Net weight
|Net Weight Is calculated by the formula Net weight = Tare weight – Gross weight
For example, SinoTrade is a company that has a consignment to be shipped from China to Vietnam. There are five cartons in the shipment and each weight 25kg.
Each carton measures 48 x 40 x 20 cm or 20 x 12 x 12 inches. The weight of the vessel is 10kg and the packaging and wrapping weight around 5kgs per carton
1. What is the Gross Weight?
25kg x 5 = 125kgs
5kg x 5 = 25kgs
In this example, gross weight: 125kg + 10kg + 25kg = 160kgs
2. What is Net Weight?
In this example, net weight: 125kgs
Chapter 3: How Gross Weight vs Net Weight affect the Costs of Shipping?
The most important factor while estimating the costs of shipment is the mass of the consignment and in that, the net weight shows what is the weight of the product other than the packaging.
Yet during the shipment, the gross weight governs the costs of the freight and shipment.
There is another factor that can also affect final shipping price, which is volumetric weight. The volumetric weight is how much space the package occupies according to its dimensions, which is then converted to its equivalent weight.
If the volumetric weight is greater than the gross weight, it is assumed as the chargeable weight.
Also, the cost of a shipment increases, if your package is using heavy packing material such as bubble, wraps boxes, etc. because it adds to the gross weight.
The air freight always calculates the actual gross weight while storing it into the warehouse. According to this, the actual gross weight need to be mentioned on the air waybill and customs declaration.
For example, a Redragon’s keyboard is 1.32 pounds, let’s suppose its package weighs 0.68 pounds which including 2 pieces of foam board and a box.
Then totally the gross weight of one keyboard with package is 2 pounds, this is the number you need to add in the blank where asks for a true gross weight.
Additionally, if you arrange items in the boxes in an unsystematic manner, they will occupy more space thus the cost will increase because the more space means the more the volumetric weight will be.
So, the size of the boxes you use to pack your consignment also affects your shipping cost, thus if you chose to ship your cargo in a bigger package, it will cost you more.
Chapter 4: How to Calculate Chargeable Weight for Shipping?
You can calculate the chargeable weight of a consignment by using a gross weight or a volumetric weight, whichever is higher.
1. When the gross weight is bigger than the volumetric weight
The SinoTrade is a company that has a delivery going from China to Vietnam. There are five cartons in this consignment, weighing 25kgs each. Each box measures 48 x 40 x 20 cms / 20 x 12 x 12 inches.
In this example, gross weight: 125kg + 10kg + 25kg = 160kgs
Volumetric Weight in Kgs = (48 x 40 x 20) cm x 5 cartons/ 5000 = 38.4kgs (using cm)
Volumetric weight in Kgs = (20 x 12 x 12) x 5 cartons/ 305 = 47.2kg (via inches)
The chargeable weight in this case is gross weight which is 160 kgs, because it is greater than the volumetric weight.
2. When the volumetric weight is bigger than the gross weight
The goods are also delivered by SinoTrade. There are 2 cartons in this consignment, weighing 5kgs each. Each box measures 48 x 40 x 20 cms / 20 x 12 x 12 inches.
The Gross Weight = 2 cartons x 5kgs each = 10kg
Volumetric Weight in kilograms = (48 x 40 x 20) cm x 2 cartons/ 5000 = 15.3kg (using Cms)
Volumetric Weight in kilograms = (20 x 12 x 12) x 2 cartons/ 305 = 18.8kg (via inches)
In this case the volumetric weight is the chargeable weight, which is 18.8kg, because it is greater of the both.
Chapter 5: What is Tare Weight, Volumetric Weight? What is the relationship between them with Gross Weight?
In this section of the guide related to understanding weights of your shipment, we are going to learn what is tare weight, volumetric weight, and what is their relationship with the gross weight. So, lets move forward with it.
1. What is Tare Weight? How does it relate with Gross weight vs Net Weight?
Tare weight is also be called as the unladen weight. It is usually the weight of the container or the packaging of your consignment or you can say the weight of the package without products in it.
The tare weight is very important while estimating the gross weight and the net weight.
Often times the tare weight is printed on intermodal container to help in the computation of the gross weight when loading the equipment.
Generally, if you deduct tare weight from the gross weight you will get the net weight of the consignment. Similarly, if you add the tare weight in to the net weight you will receive the gross weight.
Gross weight = Tare weight + Net weight
Net weight = Tare weight – Gross weight
Tare weight = Gross weight – Net Weight
2. What is Volumetric Weight? How does it relate with Gross weight vs Net Weight?
Usually, there is a notion that the volumetric weight is the gross weight of the consignment.
It is nothing as such but the weight of the cargo according to its dimensions. As we talked before, the volumetric weight varies if you consider the dimension in centimeters and inches.
It is important to know the volumetric weight because to helps the forwarder to estimate the chargeable weight in order to quote the cost to its customers. The more the vessels are the greater the volumetric weight of the consignment will be.
The SinoTrade will ship five cartons in this consignment, weighing 25kgs each. Each box measures 48 x 40 x 20 cms / 20 x 12 x 12 inches.
- Volumetric weight in Kgs = (48 x 40 x 20) cm x 5 cartons/ 5000 = 38.4kgs (using cm)
- Volumetric weight in Kgs = (20 x 12 x 12) x 5 cartons/ 305 = 47.2kg (using inches)
3. What is the Importance of Tare Weight and Volumetric Weight in Shipping?
This part defines what is the importance of the tare weight and the volumetric weight during the shipment:
- If you know the tare weight, you can easily estimate the gross weight of the shipment.
- Awareness of the tare weight helps you to choose you vessel right so that is does not increase your volumetric weight.
- Tare weight helps you to calculate the shipment cost of the product and the packaging separately.
- Tare weight helps you to calculate the weight of the product and the packaging separately.
- Volumetric weight helps in estimating the chargeable weight.
- If the products are misaligned, it will increase the volumetric weight.
Chapter 6: What is CWT? How to Calculate Freight Charges with CWT rates?
A hundredweight (CWT) defines the quantities of certain commodities, this unit of measurement is used in some commodity transactions. Pricing by hundredweight also is a standard option for shipping packages that take up less than an entire truckload.
CWT weight is the unit of measurement of weight when the weight is less than the truckload cargos, thus the cost of such shipments are calculated per CWT. For example, if the cost of 2000 lbs shipment is $20 then the cost is $400.
Moreover, the CWT varies from continent to continent as in United Kingdom, the value for CWT is 112 pounds but is United States it is 100 pounds.
So, for managing the discrepancy all across the world, the 100-pound CWT is called short hundredweight while the 112-pound CWT is called long hundredweight.
If you are trying to buying products from China (300 sheets of metal), and each sheet weights 5 pounds, then the total weight will be: 300 x 5 pounds = 1500 pounds.
With the total number of the product’s weight here, you can know the CWT number easily. Just divide the 1500 pounds by 100, which means 1500 pounds ÷ 100 = 15 CWT.
And the calculation of the cost per CWT is here: The cost of per CWT = Total Cost ÷ Number of CWT
Chapter 7: Must-Know Terms of Weight Before Calculating Rates
Following is some of the terms you must know while calculating the weights:
1. What is LTL?
Within LTL Carrier Rate Matrixes, abbreviations like L5C or M30M are assigned to classes without any translation guide or key.
L5C refers to the term named as less than 5 x 100 or 500. In this abbreviation, there are two alphabets and a number where such characters refer to:
- L represents the arithmetic expression, ‘less than’.
- The number 5 works as the multiplier, i.e., the figure by which you increase in progression
- C represents the Roman figure Centum, which means a hundred. This value is to be multiplied.
Similar with L5C, M30M is also a simple and easy-to-understand term, which is the abbreviation of more than 30 x 1000 or 30,000.
- The first letter “M” is a comparative operator which means “more than”
- The number is the multiplication factor.
- The last letter “M” is a Roman numeral to be multiplied, Mile means 1000.
For the reason that LTL rate breaks are set up in a “More than x, but less than y” fashion. For example, L5C is literally saying “Less than 5 x 100” or “<500” while M30M is saying “More than 30 x 1000” or “>30,000”.
Since there is no break defined by “>30,000” within Microsoft Dynamics AX, this class is typically changed to a “Less than” statement from the next break, in this case, “Less than 40,000” or “<40,000”.
2. What is CBM?
CBM is also called the Cubic Meter, it is freight volume of the consignment, it is calculated by using the dimensions of the shipment thus the 1 CMB is equals to the 1 Kg.
The calculation of CBM is mentioned below:
CBM = (Length x Width x Height) x Quantity of items
For most of the goods, if the size of each item is different, what you need to do is to repeat the formula for each size and add up the volumes.
But one thing to remember is to exchange the unit of length, width and height into meter (m).
The conversion rate from CBM into Kg (depends on shipping method):
Air transportation: 1 CBM = 167 Kg
Road transportation: 1 CBM = 333 Kg
Sea transportation: 1 CBM = 1000 Kg
3. What is Total Gross Weight?
The total gross weight can be defined as the total weight of the product as well as the box or vessel in which it is contained. In order to get the total gross weight, you must add the mass of the transporting vessel.
Other than this, the weight of fuel is also added to the weight of the product and if the cargo is shipped by air, then the weight of the crew and the passengers are also added to the weight of the product in order to get the total gross weight.
Chapter 8: What should be declared in a Container Bill of Lading? Net Weight vs Gross Weight?
The answer of this is neither the net weight nor the gross weight, but the cargo gross weight, please do not confuse with the container gross weight.
The cargo gross weight is the weight of the item plus the weight of any wrapping and packing with it. For example, the product and the box etc.
In this case, tare weight does not cater the cargo gross weight. On the other hand, the container’s gross weight is the container’s tare weight, but the container’s net weight is equals to the cargo gross weight.
Thus, the cargo’s gross weight or the container’s net weight is the one which is to mentioned on the Bill of Lading and because of that, the net weight of the shipment becomes irrelevant in this case.
It is important to measure the weight of the shipment on the bill of lading. Because it helps the freight forwarder estimate the cost of shipment.
For the purpose, different shipping companies use this word differently while mentioning in the bill of lading. However, you must know that it is always the cargo gross weight or the container’s net weight.
For example, the MAERSK freight company states in theirs bill of lading simply just as ‘weight’.
The CMA-CGM and MSC freight lines state in theirs bill of lading as ‘gross cargo weight.’ And some other corporations state in theirs bill of lading as ‘gross weight’ or ‘total gross weight’.
Chapter 9: FAQs About Gross Weight vs Net Weight
1. How to calculate shipment weight per hundred?
To determine your billable weight you must have the current weight of the freight you are trying to move. Shipment weight per hundred can be calculated by dividing the actual weight of the cargo in pounds by 100.
2. What adds weight cost during shipping?
If the chargeable weight of the shipment is to be considered from the gross weight and the volumetric weight whichever is higher.
If the products are not arranged in an orderly manner in the boxes, it will increase the volumetric weight of the consignment, thus it will add your cost.
3. Does gross weight is same with volumetric weight?
No, gross weight and the volumetric weight are way much different from each other. Volumetric weight varies from dimension to dimension.
4. Which is bigger net weight vs gross weight?
Gross weight is always bigger than the net weight because it contains the weight of vessel and the packing as well. On the other hand, the net weight is only the weight of the item to be shipped.
It always will confuse the non-professionals that which weight need to be filled in the formal table. And from above information, you must know more about the terms of weight, including the differences of gross weight vs net weight, and the usage of other related terms.
The weight number of your cargo is very important, and it will definitely affect your shipping fee. Therefore, confirm again and again to get the right number is important for your business and can save your money on the shipping process.