What is the difference between the ‘chargeable weight’, ‘actual weight’ and ‘volumetric weight’ for air freight? How is it worked out?


Air freight is charged based on the ‘chargeable weight’ of the air freight shipment. The ‘chargeable weight’ is the higher weight between the ‘actual weight’ and the ‘volumetric weight’. The ‘actual weight’ is the actual weight of your air freight cargo that you plan to ship and the ‘volumetric weight’ is the weight calculated on the volume of the air freight shipment. 

Here is a method for working out the ‘chargeable weight’ and volume of the cargo for your air freight shipment: 

  • By multiplying the dimensions of the packages, and multiplying that number by the amount of packages, and then multiplying by 167. For example, if you have nine packages with dimensions of 0.9 x 0.9 x 0.9, multiply the dimension numbers together giving you 0.729m3 per package. Then multiply that by the number of packages, which in this example is nine. This equals 6.561. Last you multiply that by 167 and you get a chargeable weight of 1095.7kg.

Here is a method for working out the Cubic Meterage if you know the chargeable weight:

  • Divide the ‘chargeable weight’ by 167. For example, if you had a shipment with a chargeable weight 365kg, you would divide 365 by 167. This would give you 2.186m3. 

The weight you will be invoiced for your air freight shipment is the greater of the two. For example: if you have an actual weight of 156 and a volumetric weight of 269 for your air freight shipment, you will be charged on the volumetric, thus becoming the ‘chargeable weight’.  If you have an ‘actual weight’ of 452 and a ‘volumetric weight’ of 287, the ‘actual weight’ becomes your ‘chargeable weight’ for your air freight shipment.

Every day, BCR assists small, medium and large customers with their import and export air freight shipments. As an IATA accredited air freight provider, you can feel confident that the BCR team of air freight experts will get your cargo moving in the most efficient manner.

To ease your air freight shipments, BCR has a team of qualified Customs Brokers who are focused on the customs clearance of our customers’ cargo.   


Do you need a quick air freight quote or sea freight quote? Contact BCR today.