June 16, 2017 at 12:58 PM
On bills of lading and the other paperwork that describes the freight your business receives or ships, you see words like "gross weight," "net weight" and "tare weight." Whether you're a business owner who uses freight lines to move your goods or someone who orders books online, unless you understand how gross weight vs. net weight can affect the price of transportation, you may be spending your shipping dollars needlessly.
A tractor-trailer can move about 26 tons of cargo at a time, and a railroad car's carrying capacity is about 200 tons. A ship's carrying capacity is larger, but you can only load so much weight onto a ship before it sinks. The carrying capacity of each type of carrier limits how much it can earn for its owners. No matter how you approach shipping, all shipping costs are based on the carrying capacity of the mode of transportation used.
Tare weight is the weight of the container in which a shipment travels. The weight of the container, full of your cargo, is what you will be charged to ship, or what you will pay to receive. Tare weight equals gross weight minus the net weight.
The gross weight of a shipping container, a trailer or a package is the weight of the cargo plus the weight of the container, trailer, shipment or packaging. The gross weight equals the net weight plus the tare weight.
The net weight of anything, whether it's a shipment you receive or send or the weight of the soup you pour out of a soup can, is the weight of the goods or contents that you shipped or purchased. To shippers -- and for receivers -- the cost of shipping includes the cost of moving the cargo and the cargo's packaging. In shipping, the net weight of a shipment equals the gross weight minus the tare weight.
author: Will Charpentier