Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

Agreed Weight

Agreed Weight refers to the weight of cargo as mutually agreed upon by the shipper and the carrier before the transportation process begins.

Understanding Agreed Weight in Freight Transportation

What is Agreed Weight?

Agreed Weight refers to the mutually agreed-upon weight of a shipment between the shipper (consignor) and the carrier (transportation provider) at the time of contract formation. It represents the declared weight of the goods being transported and serves as the basis for determining freight charges, allocating space on transportation vehicles, and complying with weight restrictions and regulations.

The Process of Establishing Agreed Weight

Establishing the Agreed Weight involves several steps, often necessitating cooperation and communication between the shipper, the carrier, and, at times, third-party logistics providers (3PLs):

Weighing: The cargo is weighed using certified scales to ensure accuracy. This step may be conducted by the shipper, the carrier, or an independent party, depending on the agreement.

Verification: The weight is then verified and documented, ensuring that both parties acknowledge and accept the measured weight.

Documentation: The Agreed Weight is documented in the shipping contract and/or Bill of Lading, making it a binding aspect of the cargo transportation agreement.

Application of Agreed Weight

Agreed Weight is commonly applied in freight contracts, shipping agreements, and regulatory compliance, including:

1. Freight Contracts: Shippers and carriers establish Agreed Weight provisions in freight contracts to determine the weight of the cargo and the corresponding freight charges based on agreed-upon rates per unit of weight (e.g., per kilogram, per ton).

2. Shipping Agreements: Agreed Weight is specified in shipping agreements between shippers and carriers to clarify the responsibilities and liabilities of each party regarding the accuracy of weight declarations, verification procedures, and potential penalties for discrepancies.

3. Regulatory Compliance: Agreed Weight helps ensure compliance with weight restrictions, load limits, and safety regulations imposed by transportation authorities, such as maximum payload capacities for trucks, weight limits for cargo aircraft, or container weight regulations for maritime shipments.

Implications of Agreed Weight

The adoption of Agreed Weight in freight transportation has several implications for shippers, carriers, and regulatory authorities, including:

1. Accurate Pricing: Agreed Weight enables carriers to calculate accurate freight charges based on the declared weight of the shipment, ensuring fairness and transparency in pricing and preventing disputes or discrepancies in billing.

2. Space Allocation: Carriers use Agreed Weight to allocate space on transportation vehicles, such as trucks, ships, or aircraft, based on weight capacity and load distribution requirements, optimizing cargo loading and maximizing transportation efficiency.

3. Compliance Requirements: Shippers must ensure that the declared weight of the shipment complies with applicable regulations and standards, such as International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations for container weight verification (e.g., Verified Gross Mass) or road weight limits for trucking operations.

4. Risk Management: Carriers may impose penalties or surcharges for discrepancies between the declared weight and the actual weight of the shipment, reflecting the additional costs, risks, or operational challenges associated with inaccurate weight declarations.

Significance of Agreed Weight

Agreed Weight plays a crucial role in freight transportation by providing a standardized method for determining the weight of shipments, facilitating accurate pricing, space allocation, and regulatory compliance. By establishing clear guidelines and responsibilities for shippers and carriers regarding weight declarations and verification procedures, Agreed Weight enhances transparency, efficiency, and reliability in freight logistics operations.


In conclusion, Agreed Weight serves as a fundamental element in freight transportation, providing a basis for determining freight charges, allocating space on transportation vehicles, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. By establishing mutual agreement between shippers and carriers regarding the declared weight of shipments, Agreed Weight enhances accuracy, fairness, and accountability in freight logistics operations, contributing to the efficient and reliable movement of goods in the global supply chain. As the complexity and demands of freight transportation continue to evolve, the adoption and adherence to Agreed Weight standards will remain essential for fostering trust, transparency, and efficiency in the dynamic and competitive landscape of logistics and transportation.