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Airfreight weight or volume explained

World-wide air freight rates are based on either the actual gross weight or volumetric weight of a shipment, whichever is the greater.

This is due to the fact that the size of some items will take up a larger amount of space on an aircraft in relation to the actual weight of the item. For example, a 10 Kilo box of potato crisps would be much larger and therefore take up more space than a 10 kilo box of canned tomatoes.

Airlines therefore apply a weight to volume ratio to compensate for the space that is used in an aircraft cargo compartment. The volume ratio is normally calculated 6 to 1 - that is 6000 cubic centimeters of space used is the equivalent of 1 Kilo of weight. Appears complicated? The following may help.


A package that has dimension of 100 x 40 x 30 cms would have a volumetric weight of 20 Kilos (100cm x 40cm x 30 cm divided by 6000 = 20 Kg)

If the package has an actual weight of 15 Kilos you would be charged on the volumetric weight of the package - that is 20 Kilos.

Conversely, if the package weighed 25 Kilos, you would be charged on the actual weight - that is 25 Kilos.

Shipments containing Multiple packages:

The volume weight of each package should be calculated as above and added together to obtain an overall volumetric weight of the total packages.

The weight of each package should be added together to obtain the total gross weight.

The greater of the two results becomes the chargeable weight.

Single package volume calculator

Height (cm)
Width (cm)
Length (cm)

Volumetric Weight = ? kg

Quantum Transportation Ltd - The Mill - Horton Rd - Stanwell Moor - Staines - Middlesex - TW19 6BF - UK
Tel: +44 (0)1753 683399 - Fax: +44 (0)1753 687238 - E-mail: info@quantumtransportation.co.uk

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