Glossar Volumetric weight

What is the meaning behind Volumetric weight / Chargeable weight mean?

The so-called Volumetric weight is an abstract calculation parameter. It is primarily used to calculate the freight rate of air freight shipments.

This concept was developed by IATA, the international umbrella organisation of airlines. It continues to be used as a global standard.

This calculation is based on the assumption that the costs of air freight transport are always influenced by the dimensions of the consignment, i.e. the cargo space required, as well as the weight.

In order to carry out the calculation, the Volumetric weightis always determined based on the dimensions, which is then compared with the actual weight.

The greater or higher weight is then used as the basis for the calculation.

This weight is also referred to as chargeable weight.

How the calculation works:

The equation: Length x Height x Width (given in cm) / divisor = the Volumetric weight in Kilogram.

Attention: The divisor is not standardised. It always depends on the service provider. These service providers include DHL, UPS and TNT, which use a divisor of 5000. For air freight, the IATA recommends a divisor of 6000, which is also used here.

Example: In our example, the consignment in question has a length of one metre, a height of 60 cm and a width of 90 cm as well as an actual weight of 25 kilograms. In our example, we now calculate with a divisor of 6000.

Calculation: 100 x 60 x 90 = 540000 / 6000 = 90 kg Volumetric weight.

This means that the Volumetric weight at 90 kilograms is higher than the actual weight of 25 kilograms.

The 90 kilograms are now used to calculate the freight rate, as this is the higher weight.