Gross Weight X Chargeable Weight in LCL

When planning an import, it is of first necessity to prepare the cash flow for when the cargo arrives, and part of this work is the cash estimate, which is built based on the international freight quotation.

In cases where there is not enough cargo to use an entire container, that is, an FCL (Full Container Load) shipment, importers – and exporters – prefer to use the partial container modality, known as LCL (Less than a Container Load), when the container is shared between several importing companies.

To make this operation possible, the consolidators (known as co-loaders and NVOCCs) limit the loads per container so that it is feasible to place the maximum number of different importers in the same equipment, making the revenue from this operation sufficient to cover the costs and this text explains how this calculation is done.

What are the differences?

To calculate the freight, it is necessary to know the measurements in the format L x W x H (length, width, and height) and the gross weight of the cargo (net weight of the cargo itself plus its packaging weight) and confirm whether the charge it will be based on the gross weight or the cubage, as there is a big difference in the final cost, depending on which one is greater.

If the load is denser, the charge will be based on the gross weight (ton) and if the load is bulky, the values ​​will be based on the cube (m³ – cubic meters – CBM).

Gross weight

To reach the gross weight amount, just add up the net weight of the cargo and the weight of its packaging – which can be a pallet, a cardboard or wooden box, a raffia bag, a metallic structure, or anything that protects the product – and multiply this exact number (considering the numbers after the comma as well) by the cost of international shipping.

Local taxes at destination will also be charged considering weight in all cases where the charge factor is ton or meter (w/m). So, if a wharfage service charges 100 reais per ton or meter and the load is dense and 2.5 tons heavy, the total cost of wharfage will be 250 reais.

Chargeable weight 

Chargeable weight is the one considered on whichever is greater between the gross weight and the CBM weight. To assess the CBM of an LCL cargo, it is necessary to multiply the measures of width, height, and length of the packaged cargo, using meter as the unit of measurement, and the result will be the CBM weight (volume) in cubic meters (m³).

Still considering the example above, if this load has large dimensions, the probability that the charge will be made considering the CBM is high, because a load that is 2 meters long, 1.5 meters high and 2 meters wide (even though weighs 2.5 tons as the example above), its CBM to be considered is of 6m³. As international freight and other expenses are calculated considering the highest value (chargeable weight), the total for the wharfage services will then be 600 reais, instead of 250.



It is already known that in maritime operations the values ​​​​of international freight of the LCL will be charged based on weight or CBM, whichever is greater – which is the Chargeable weight. In addition, it is also clear that the difference between gross weight and CBM value is often significant.


Do you still have any doubts? Contact our team of experts or leave your comment here and we will respond as quickly as we can send you our LCL quotation.