## How to calculate the rateable weight

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## How to calculate the rateable weight

When it comes to exporting or importing goods, one of the critical factors affecting cost is the rateable weight. This weight may differ from the actual weight of the goods. Therefore, it is crucial to calculate it accurately to avoid surprises in the price of the service.

### What is tasable weight and what is it used for?

Sometimes a shipment may have a light physical weight but occupy a large volume in the hold. On the other hand, there are cases where a small package can be surprisingly heavy. Clearly, the transport of one is not comparable to the transport of the other. Therefore, **to determine the weight of the shipment, the actual physical weight is not used, but the assessable weight.**

The taxable weight is one of the fundamental metrics in international transport, since it determines the kilograms that will be invoiced for the shipment. In other words, the cost of the service is based on this concept. Each method of transport (sea, air or land) uses a different method to calculate it. In short, **the assessable weight is the highest value between the real weight of the goods and their volumetric weight. ** Therefore, it is necessary to calculate the latter to determine the priceable weight.

### What is the volumetric weight of a shipment?

The volumetric weight determines **how many kilograms represents the volume occupied by the goods. ** It is a measure of density that evaluates the space occupied by the merchandise in relation to its weight. To make this calculation, it is crucial to consider the type of transport to be used.

### How is the taxable weight calculated for land shipments?

To calculate the volumetric weight in a land shipment, it is crucial to determine **whether the merchandise is traceable or not**, as this will influence the calculation. A traceable good is one that** can bear the load of another package on top**, which implies certain characteristics in its packaging, such as adequate protection, resistance to weight and a flat and uniform top. As a general rule, a commodity is considered to be non-removable if its height exceeds 120 cm.

**To calculate the volumetric weight of a traceable commodity**, the following formula is used:

**Volumetric weight (kg) = Volume (m3) x Conversion factor (m3/kg)**

Market standards establish different conversion factors according to the type of transport:

- International transport: 333 kg/m3.
- Transport in the Iberian Peninsula: 250 – 270 kg/m3.
- Transport to the Canary Islands or Balearic Islands: 333 kg/m3.

**In the case of goods not traceable**, the volumetric weight is calculated considering that the goods occupy the entire height of the truck. The following formula is used:

**Volumetric weight (kg) = LDM x Conversion factor (LDM/kg)**/em>

Where LDM (linear meters) is the basis of the goods divided by the width of the truck. Usually, the width of the truck is 240 cm. The market standards for shipments are:

- International transport: 1800 kg/LDM.
- Transport in the Iberian Peninsula: 1750 kg/LDM.
- Transport to the Canary Islands or Balearic Islands: 1750 kg/LDM.

#### Example calculation for a land shipment

For example, if we want to send a towable European pallet with a height of 100 cm and a weight of 500 kg to another European country, we calculate the volumetric weight as follows:

*Volumetric weight (kg) = Volume (m3) x Conversion factor (m3/kg) = 1,2 m x 0,8 m x 1 m x 333 kg/m3 = 319,68 kg*

Given that the actual weight of the consignment is 500 kg, which is greater than the calculated volumetric weight (319,68 kg), <>strong the appable weight will be 500 kg, which is the greater of the two values.

### How is the rateable weight calculated for air shipments?

**For air shipments** the same volumetric shipping calculation formula is used as for trackable land shipments :

**Volumetric weight (kg) = Volume (m****3****>) x Conversion factor (m****3****/kg)**/p>

In this case, the conversion factor varies: it is 176 kg/m3.

#### Example calculation for an air shipment

To send a European pallet from Spain to Canada, with a height of 120 cm and a weight of 150 kg, we calculate the volumetric weight using the formula mentioned above:

*Volumetric weight (kg) = Volume (m3) x Conversion factor (m3/kg) = 1,2 x 0,8 x 1,2 x 167 = 192,38 kg*

In this case, the calculated volumetric weight (192.38 kg) is greater than the actual weight of the shipment (150 kg). **Therefore, in this shipment, the priceable weight corresponds to the volumetric weight. **

### How is the taxable weight calculated for sea shipments?

**For shipping, the calculation of volumetric weight is much simpler. ** Since the conversion factor is 1 ton per cubic meter, it is only necessary to compare the volume of goods with their actual weight in tons. The highest value between the two is directly considered as the priceable weight of the shipment.

#### Example calculation for a sea shipment

To send a European pallet from Spain to Mexico by boat, with a height of 170 cm and a weight of 600 kg, we first calculate the shipping volume:

*Volume (m3) = Length (m) x Width (m) x Height (m) = 1,2 x 0,8 x 1,7 = 1,63 m3*

When you already have the volume, it is compared with the actual weight in tonnes:

- Volume: 1.63 m3.
- Weight: 0.6 tons.

In this example, the volume is greater than the weight, so **the shipment will be priced by the volume. **

With the information provided on how the volumetric weight of shipments is calculated, it will be easier to avoid surprises and determine the cost of sending the goods, regardless of destination.

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