Volumetric Weight vs Actual Weight

Created on
Mar 29, 2022
Volumetric Weight vs Actual Weight

What is volumetric weight? 


International shipping of items depends on several factors when it comes to choosing the mode of shipping, price and the required services. Volumetric weight is one of those prime factors. It is used by freight industries and courier services around the world to invoice for the actual space that a package takes up during transit. When shippers use the actual weight of goods, they lose a lot of money on light weight shipments because they take up a lot of space in the trucks. A vehicle can quickly become full ofbulky lightweight packages long before it reaches its capacity in weight which makes for inefficient use of space. Picture it this way: It would cost more to ship a plane full of feather pillows than one filled with mobile phones. The pillows take up more space, they cost less, and you need more shipments to make a significant profit.  

How is volumetric weight calculated?  


The parameter around volumetric weight varies by freight forwarder and mode of transport. The basic formula to calculate the volumetric weight is by calculating the volume first (Length x width x Height) then dividing by a volumetric divisor. Different freight forwarders and modes of transport use different volumetric divisors, therefore check with your shipper on what formula they use. If shipping with Aquantuo, then the volumetric divisor used for calculating the volumetric weight by air freight is 166 while1728 by sea freight. 


VW (Lbs.) = (Length (inches) x Width (inches) x Height (inches) then divide by 166 – By air freight 


VW (Lbs.) = (Length (inches) x Width (inches) x Height (inches) then divide by 1728 – By sea freight 




When determining the billable weight, carriers will usually determine the greater of either the volumetric weight or the actual weight of the package. 


Advantages of volumetric weight 


Volumetric weight can seem like a hindrance, but it’s really your shippers trying to ensure that you ship efficiently. Leverage your knowledge in volumetric weight by determining the sizes of your boxes and packaging efficiently beforehand. For mastering this art, it is important that the smallest possible box is being used for each item 


Commonly, on behalf of the customer, Aquantuo will remove a product from its original box then repackage it to better utilize the space to avoid higher chargeable rates for its customers. However, in some cases it is unavoidable because of the bulkiness of a single item. Customers can opt for alternative services that have more advantageous volumetric divisor, such as sea freight services. 


Lastly, volumetric weight also helps in creating an altogether single shipment for the entire lot. This single unit will be balanced in all dimensions and weight and make it easy for the carrier to transport it. One can even minimize potential losses by pairing items with lower and higher density together.With that being said, use this link by Aquantuo Logistics https://www.aquantuo.com/price-estimator todetermine your package’s volumetricweight beforehand.