Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

Billed Weight

Billed Weight refers to the weight used to calculate the freight charges for a shipment. This weight can be based on the actual weight, dimensional weight, or any other method determined by the shipping carrier's tariff or pricing rules.

Understanding the Term "Billed Weight" in Shipping and Logistics

Definition of Billed Weight

Billed Weight is the weight of a shipment as used by the carrier to determine the freight charges. It can differ from the actual physical weight of the shipment because carriers often use the greater of the actual weight or dimensional weight to calculate shipping costs. This practice ensures that they account for both the weight and the space a shipment occupies.

Key Concepts Related to Billed Weight

Actual Weight: The actual physical weight of the shipment, measured in pounds or kilograms.
Dimensional Weight: A calculation based on the dimensions of the shipment (length, width, and height). Dimensional weight = (Length x Width x Height) / a dimensional factor (e.g., 139 for domestic shipments in the U.S.).
Weight-Based Pricing: Shipping carriers use billed weight to apply their pricing structures, which can be based on either actual weight, dimensional weight, or a combination of both.

Importance of Billed Weight

Cost Calculation: Billed weight directly impacts the cost of shipping. Carriers use this weight to determine the freight charges, which can affect a company's shipping budget and overall logistics costs.
Accurate Invoicing: Ensuring the billed weight is correctly calculated and reported helps in avoiding billing disputes between shippers and carriers.
Optimization of Shipments: Understanding how billed weight is calculated can help shippers optimize their packaging to reduce shipping costs by minimizing the dimensional weight.

Examples of Billed Weight Calculation

1. Actual Weight vs. Dimensional Weight:

Actual Weight: A package weighs 10 pounds.
Dimensional Weight: The package dimensions are 20 inches x 15 inches x 10 inches. Using a dimensional factor of 139, the dimensional weight is calculated as (20 x 15 x 10) / 139 = 21.58 pounds.
Billed Weight: Since dimensional weight (21.58 pounds) is greater than the actual weight (10 pounds), the billed weight would be 22 pounds (rounding up to the nearest whole number).

2. Freight Class and Tariffs: In some shipping scenarios, especially for less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments, the freight class and tariff rules might influence the billed weight.

Freight Class: Determines pricing based on density, stowability, handling, and liability.
Tariff Rules: Specific carrier rules that dictate how weight and volume are converted into billed weight.

Impact of Billed Weight on Shipping Operations

Rate Negotiations: Shippers can use knowledge of billed weight calculations to negotiate better rates with carriers.
Packaging Strategies: Shippers might redesign packaging to minimize dimensional weight, thereby reducing billed weight and shipping costs.
Revenue Management: Carriers use billed weight to maximize revenue by ensuring that they are compensated for both the weight and volume of shipments they transport.


Billed Weight is a fundamental term in shipping and logistics, representing the weight used by carriers to calculate freight charges. It can be based on actual weight or dimensional weight, depending on which is greater, ensuring carriers account for both the weight and space a shipment occupies. Understanding billed weight helps shippers optimize packaging, manage shipping costs, and ensure accurate invoicing. By comprehending the nuances of billed weight, businesses can better navigate shipping operations, negotiate rates, and streamline their logistics processes.