Light Weight Cargo | Best Definition Explanation

To understand the definition of Light Weight Cargo and Heavy Cargo/, you need to know what actual weight, volumetric weight, and billable weight are.

How to identify light weight cargo

Actual Weight

Actual Weight, i.e. the weight obtained according to weighing (overweight), includes Actual Gross Weight and Actual Net Weight.

In air cargo transportation, the actual gross weight is often compared with the calculated volumetric weight, and whichever is greater is calculated and charged for freight.


Light Weight Cargo


Volumetric Weight

Volumetric Weight or Dimensions Weight, i.e. weight calculated from the volume of cargo according to a certain conversion factor or formula.

In air cargo transportation, the conversion coefficient for calculating volumetric weight is generally 1:167, i.e. one cubic meter is equal to 167 kilograms.

For example: the actual gross weight of a ticket of air cargo is 95 kg, the volume of 1.2 cubic meters, according to the coefficient of 1:167 air transportation, the volume of this ticket of cargo weight is 1.2 * 167 = 200.4 kg, which is greater than the actual gross weight of 95 kg, so this cargo is Light Weight Cargo.
Therefore, this cargo is Light Weight Cargo. The airline will charge according to the volume weight, not the actual gross weight.

Another example: the actual gross weight of an air cargo is 560 kg, the volume is 1.5 CBM, according to the coefficient of 1:167 for air transportation, the volume weight of this cargo is 1.5*167=250.5 kg, which is less than the actual gross weight of 560 kg, so this cargo is Heavy Cargo.

Chargeable Weight

Chargeable Weight, abbreviated as C.W., is the weight according to which freight or other miscellaneous charges are calculated.

Chargeable Weight is either the actual gross weight or the volume weight, Chargeable Weight = Actual Weight VS Volume Weight, whichever is greater is the weight for calculating the transportation cost.


Amazon FBA packaging


Calculation method

Calculation method for shipping and air shipments:

Rule item:

Length(cm)×Width(cm)×Height(cm)÷6000=Volumetric weight(KG),i.e. 1CBM≈166.66667KG.

Irregular items:

The longest (cm) × the widest (cm) × the highest (cm) ÷ 6000 = volume weight (KG), that is, 1CBM ≈ 166.66667KG.

This is the internationally accepted algorithm.

In short, the weight of 1 cubic meter is called Heavy Cargo/ if it is more than 166.67kg, and Light Weight Cargo if it is less than 166.67kg.

Heavy Cargo/ is charged according to the actual gross weight and Light Weight Cargo is charged according to the volume weight.


1. CBM is the abbreviation of Cubic Meter, which means cubic meter.

2. Volumetric weight is also calculated according to L(cm)×W(cm)×H(cm)÷5000, which is not common, and only express companies use this algorithm.

3. in fact, air cargo transportation on Heavy Cargo / and Light Weight Cargo division is much more complex, such as according to the different density, there are 1:300, 1:400, 1:500, 1:800, 1:1000 and so on. The price is different for different ratios.

For example, 1:300 is 25$/kg and 1:500 is 24$/kg. The so-called 1:300 is 1 cubic meter is equal to 300 kg, 1:400 is 1 cubic meter is equal to 400 kg, and so on.

4.  In order to fully utilize the space and capacity of the aircraft, generally Heavy Cargo / and Light Weight Cargo for a reasonable combination of air cargo distribution is a technical job – with good, you can make full use of the aircraft’s limited space resources, do a good job or even significantly increase the additional profits! Too much Heavy Cargo will be a waste of space (overweight before filling the space), and too much Light Weight Cargo will be a waste of weight (full before reaching the maximum weight).


Amazon Warehousing Distribution



Sea freight LCL is based on the density of water 1000KGS/1CBM, cargo weight in tons than the number of cubic meters, greater than 1 is Heavy Cargo/, less than 1 is Light Weight Cargo, but now a lot of voyage weight limit, so the ratio is adjusted to 1 ton / 1.5CBM or so.

China to USA air freight, 1000 to 6 shall prevail, equivalent to 1CBM = 166.6KGS, 1CBM more than 166.6 is Heavy Cargo /, on the contrary is Light Weight Cargo.

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