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What is volumetric weight

Volumetric weight calculation

What is volumetric weight?

Volumetric weight also known as dimensional weight is a pricing technique used in commercial freight transport which uses an estimated weight that is calculated from the length, width and height of a package.

Sounds fancy?

Well it’s not very complicated to be honest. See you have to pay your transporter/carrier to move something from one location to another. Now this transporter can be a courier company or trucking or an airline or a shipping company. It doesn’t matter. And how does they charge you? Based on the weight.

Now there are two types of weight.

  1. Actual weight: This nothing but the real weight of an item. Simple and straightforward.
  2. Dimensional or volumetric weight: This calculated from the length width and height of an item.

The formula for this is: Multiply the length width and height of the package/box (in cm) and then divide it by 5000 (Some carriers use 4000 as a divisor) what you get is the dimensional weight in Kilograms.

So the carrier calculates the volumetric weight and then compares it with the actual weight to decide the freight charge.

“The actual weight or the volumetric weight whichever is higher is chargeable”


Big question. Why volumetric weight?

Some items may be light in weight but occupies more space. For such items, transporting them based on the actual weight is just not feasible for the carrier. An example would be a situation where in you want to send say, stuffed toys or a big pack of Styrofoam sheets. The carrier would incur a loss if they send these kinds of item based on actual weight.

“Remember in shipping space is money”



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