January 12, 2023

Net vs. Gross Weight: What is the Difference?

The weight of a shipment can be seen in two ways: the net weight and the gross weight. The two weights are different, confusing people who need to learn about shipping cargo. If you are going to ship some goods for your company, an understanding of gross weight vs. net weight is essential. The weight of the shipment decides the costs linked with the load and the amount it costs the company. The bill for the shipping process shows which weight was considered to calculate the costs. In this article, we discuss the weight types taken into consideration to calculate shipping weight. 

What Is Net Weight?  

Net weight is the weight of a product after the water has been removed. This is typically what is displayed on food labels. For example, if an apple has a net weight of 100 grams, that means the apple weighed in at 125 grams, but 23 grams of that was water.

What Is Gross Weight?

Gross weight is a shipment's total weight, including the weight of the packaging. For example, if you were to order a shirt online, and the sweater itself weighs 1 pound, but the shipping box and packaging weigh 2 pounds, then your gross weight would be 3 pounds.

 How Do You Calculate Net Weight? 

There are ways to calculate the net weight of the package. The formula to calculate the net weight is Gross weight – tare weight. The net weight is calculated by deducting the container's importance from the package's total weight. 


How Do You Calculate Gross Weight

A gross aspect of weight is the entire weight of the shipment, which includes the importance of the containers and pallets and the item weight that is shipped. It is the weight of the container and the total weight of the items, which includes the entire payload the containers can hold. Sometimes the gross weight is the same as the net weight. The shipping company calculates the total weight of the items as net weight and then calculates the shipping container weight. Then the shipping company adds the two weights to get the gross weight. Gross weight = net weight + tare weight. 

Related: How To Calculate Holding Costs

What Are The Benefits Of Knowing Your Product's Net Weight

The net weight is not calculated when shipping is happening on a small scale. However, when the company is shipping on a large scale, it needs to consider shipping weights, including net weight. Net weight calculations also affect overall shipping regulations. 

Cargo net weight is essential for shipping and eCommerce companies because it determines the total costs of shipping and profitability linked with them. The shipping cost is usually determined per pound, which considers the net weight. The heavier the shipment, the costlier it is to ship. Thus, companies can reduce shipping costs by calculating and controlling the net weight. The net weight also helps determine the safety standards of the shipment too. For example, if the company sends out hazardous material, there are some net weight restrictions per package. The net weight definition in such cases comes forth as a helpful standard to uphold for the safety of the shipment in transition. 

Net weight calculation also comes to help when the shipping company or the eCommerce company has to calculate the shipping taxes. When shipping by weight, many governments take the net weight of the package into consideration to levy taxes. Thus, using net weight helps the company adhere to the taxation rules. The company management is well equipped to calculate and estimate the taxes on shipping by net weight estimation. 

Related: Supplies Vs. Inventory: What Is The Difference?

 What Are The Benefits Of Knowing Your Product's Gross Weight

There are some benefits of knowing the gross weight of the shipment sent.

The gross weight is measured in kilograms depending on the weight calculations and the heaviness of the package. The gross weight of the cargo is essential and needs accurate estimates because it affects the ability to load the freight into vehicles and ship it for long distances. The gross weight must be calculated before the whole cargo is loaded into the aircraft or the ship for shipping. 

Cargo gross weight is also an important aspect to keep in mind when you are handling cargo. The people or delivery executives taking the bulk packages should be aware of the gross weight so they can decide the mode of transport and strategy to transport them to the customer safely. 

Gross weight measurements are most important for large-scale shipments where cargo handling and shipment can be challenging. When the shipping team knows the weight measurements, it is ready to ship and transport the cargo to its destination with the right equipment. For the success of the shipping and delivery process, it is essential to know the gross weight measurements of a cargo shipment. eCommerce companies that regularly send large-scale cargo to different places always calculate the net and gross weight for smooth transition and transport. 

When Should You Use Net Weight, And When Should You Use Gross Weight

From the above sections, it is understood that the gross weight definition and the net weight both are important for the shipping process. Shipping by weight is a process that happens everywhere, whether air shipping, rail shipping, or container shipping by cargo ships. While net weight is essential to calculate the total cost of shipping and taxes linked with them, the gross weight is necessary to strategize the transport and transit of the cargo.

 Net weight has a higher financial projection and helps the company in proper planning on the costs of shipping. The shipment company also adheres to the taxation laws and the safety guidelines linked with shipping different materials. On the other hand, gross weight is an aspect that allows the shipping company to know the total weight to be sent so that the best way to carry out the process is decided. Both the weights are part of the shipping strategy and costs. 


Understanding the difference between net and gross weight can be tricky for a business looking to assess shipping costs accurately. But with the help of this blog post, you will now have a basic understanding of what these two weights entail, why they're essential regarding product weight measurements, and how they can impact your eCommerce business. Please keep this information handy when assessing your products and their respective prices and setting the parameters for your customers' services. If you still have questions regarding net and gross weight or need further help setting up logistics for your products, check out Conveyr– we build the tools 3PLs use to compete and win new business. We also keep our clients ahead of regulatory changes and industry trends through freight compliance support systems that provide visibility into every point of operation. Get started today on unlocking the potential of your supply chain!

Recommended: How To Calculate Holding Costs

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