The carrying capacity of every aircraft, truck, and ship is ultimately limited by space or weight. If you load a vessel with heavy cargo, you may hit its weight limit before filling all available space. If you load a vessel with light cargo, you may fill all available space before hitting the weight limit.
When calculating the cost of moving your shipment, the carrier will consider both the weight and volume of your cargo, by converting the volume into a "weight equivalent" also known as volumetric weight (or sometimes dimensional weight). The carrier will then charge per kilogram for whichever is greater: the actual weight (also known as gross weight) or the volumetric weight.
In other words, shipping 1 kilogram of feathers costs more than shipping 1 kilogram of steel, assuming that the cartons of feathers take up more space than the cartons of steel.
This explains why in some cases, especially when shipping by air, you’ll see both actual weight and chargeable weight in your shipment record.
Actual weight is the number you provide us with when you submit your initial quote request. We calculate your quote based on this number. Actual weight = gross weight.
Chargeable weight is the number on your invoice. It’s the amount the carrier charged to move your shipment. The chargeable weight is whichever of the following is greater: