# Weight in Currency

From the point of view of logistics it’s not so easy to give the right answer on child’s riddle – what is heavier: the kilo of down or the kilo of iron. There is a notion “volume weight” in logistics. It is measured in kilos, but the scales make no sense here.

Lorry, wagon, aircraft luggage compartment, sea container contain specified volume. The cargo can be light, but bulky (pillows, soft toys etc.). And vice versa – compact, but very heavy (metal parts etc.).

That’s why it’s a common practice when the calculation of the delivery is based on the volume of the cargo in space (thought if the factual weight is more than volume weight, the calculation is based on factual). It’s vital to understand this fact in order not to be surprised when the delivery turns to be more expensive than you expected. So the volume weight means cargo dimensions. There is a formula of its calculation. You need to multiply the height of cargo by its width and length and then to divide the result by divisor. And here we have some interesting facts: the online calculators usually offer the divisor – notional value – 5000. This numeral is based on the fact that one cubic meter contains 200 kilos. UPS and DHL services are based on such data. But other logistics companies have their own coefficient. It varies, for example TNT Express has 4000 divisor for international truck or air freight transportation (4000 divisor is often used in Great Britain). The divisors can vary because of cargo nature – for example, during the delivery of jewelry – gold, stones, antiques etc.

So the one can get the estimate amount of the delivery. But for more detailed calculations you need to contact specialists. They can also advise the best way of freight. Obviously air freight for polyester batting, foam plastic and other bulky cargo delivery is not a good idea. The figures speak for themselves. The overload or wrong placement of cargo at the aircraft can lead to disaster. There is a shortage of place and it should be loaded properly. That’s why there is 500 kilos of volume weight for each 10 kilos of factual weight at the aircraft (it depends on the airline). All dispatcher round-ups are made in favor of the airline. Taking into account all clearances between the packed objects the air freight turns to be much more expensive. In other words, if the weight of object in one cubic meter is less than 167 kilos – the cargo is volumetric.

It should be delivered by land or by sea. Heavy cargo of first class such as sand, coal or mineral is delivered by rail, Oleg Degtyarev, the General Director of RusTrans, ACEX member in Moscow explained: “ The cost of the freight depends on the route, weight and class of the cargo. There are covered wagons, open wagons, tanks. Covered wagons are often used for general merchandise – when goods from different clients are gathered in one wagon. But usually the whole wagon is purchased. So it’s not profitable to purchase as a whole and to load in a half. That’s why more often wagons are used for bulk cargo – sand, polyethylene, saw-timber. We deliver millions of tons of such cargo per year. Equipment is more expensive cargo itself. But here we can say that the cost of 500 km with coal or with equipment may differ by 3 times.

The cargo delivered by rail can also be delivered by truck. The advantage of such delivery is wide range of cars, Aleksandеr Leontievsky ACEX Multimodal department specialist explains: “Delivery by truck has more variants. In case of general cargo, when the goods from different companies are placed in one truck, one or two pallets can be transported. Direct cars are ordered for certain volume of cargo, such cars have temperature control. Direct delivery is faster. Cars of different tonnage capacity can be ordered, but partly loaded. In this case extra payment doesn’t make sense. So organizing the delivery it’s better to take all nuances into account.”

Sea freight is the cheapest way of delivery, but the longest one. The price is fixed for the full container and doesn’t depend on the capacity of cargo inside –Denis Bobrakov, commercial director of ACEX Novorossiysk specified. The company organizes logistics through the port of Novorossiysk.

“Everything can be transported by sea – from glazed tile to alcohol and bulky equipment. The main types are 20-feet and 40-feet containers. Containers have different volume – 33 and 76 cubic meters, but similar load capacity – around 27 and 28 tons. But the freight rate is for the container, not for weight (there are exemptions in some countries – extra rate for 20ft container if the weight is over 18 tons). Nevertheless we try to keep to a minimum weight – 24 tons for 20ft container if it continues the rout by truck. The cargo should be placed evenly in the container. Under these conditions there is no need to open the container, only to load on truck with minimum risks of damage. We recommend such variant to our clients.”

But even staying on the firm ground we don’t need to forget about the volume weight. It’s not easy to count the numeral of this volume weight, that’s the pitfall. For example, we need to deliver a stand lamp. What do we have here – thin leg widening to the bottom at the basement and to the top – shade. And you need to pay for the air around this leg. So the cheapest way is to take it apart – the legs in one container, the shades – in another. Experienced specialists can offer such a way out. Another trick is the pressing of cargo. It can be used for bulky goods, which can be crumpled without damage – blankets, soft toys etc.

Experts say: in case you have the thing you want to deliver let the specialist arrange all the formalities.

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