Air freight is the amount that the shipper must pay to the service company to transport the shipment from the airport of departure to the airport of destination.

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It is important to distinguish this concept from the cost of transporting passengers – still commonly known as the airfare.

Basically, the cost of sending goods by air is similar to the cost of transporting goods by other modes such as sea, rail, or road. Of course, the method of calculating domestic or international air freight rates will have other points that I will detail in the next section below.

## How to calculate air freight?

Fees in air transport are specified in the unified tariff. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has regulations on the rules, methods of calculating and issuing charges in the TACT (The Air Cargo Tariff) air freight schedule.

The formula for calculating the fee is as follows:

**Air freight = Unit cost x Chargeable volume**

Looking at the formula, you can see: to calculate the freight amount for each shipment, you need to care about 2 quantities: Unit Price and Volume

### 1. Unit price (rate)

That is the amount you have to pay for each unit of chargeable volume (eg 15usd/kg).

**The carriers will publish the price list for each volume of goods. For example, ASL Company publishes a list of international air freight rates here.**

**Here, the freight rate varies depending on the volume of goods, divided into the following intervals:**

**Under 45kgFrom 45 to less than 100kgFrom 100 to under 250kg From 250 to under 500kg From 500 to under 1000kg…**

Common abbreviations are: -45, +45, +100, +250, +500kg…

### 2. Chargeable Weight:

The question I often see is: What is Chargeable Weight, or Chargeable Weight? How to calculate Chargeable Weight in aviation?

Chargeable Weight is the actual weight, or volumetric mass, whichever is greater.

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In other words, freight will be charged whichever is greater of:

Actual weight of the goods (Actual Weight), such as a shipment weighing 300kg**Volumetric mass**, also known as Dimensional Weight (Volume / Volumetric / Dimensional Weight) is the type converted from the volume of a shipment according to a formula prescribed by the International Air Transport Association – IATA. For volume measurements in cubic centimeters, the formula is:

**Volumetric weight = Cargo volume : 6000**

Note: If the unit of measurement is in inches, pounds (British system), the formula is slightly different, but because in Vietnam we use the metric system, I only mentioned 1 formula above to avoid confusion. In addition, the courier companies use their own formula (I mentioned below).

The reason it is necessary to use the above two types of weight is because the aircraft’s carrying capacity is limited, and is limited by the mass and capacity used to carry goods. The airline will find a way to maximize the benefits received, so it will charge by volume or volume of conversion, depending on the type of cargo heavy or light. Volume converted from volume is aimed at bulky, large-volume goods.

Heavy things

To illustrate how to determine the chargeable volume, I give an example for you to easily imagine:

Example 1 – Actual mass is greater than Volumetric mass

My company wants to import a shipment of 2 pieces, each weighing 50kg and measuring 50 x 40 x 40 (cm). The calculation is as follows:

Actual Weight (AW): 2 x 50 = 100kg Volumetric Weight (DW): 2 x (50 x 40 x 40) = 26.67kg

The actual weight is larger, so it will be taken as the chargeable volume: 100kg

Example 2 – Actual mass is less than Volumetric mass

Your company wants to ship 5 boxes of goods, each weighing 20kg and measuring 70x50x60 (cm). So we calculate as follows:

Actual Weight (AW): 5 x 20 = 100kg Volumetric Weight (DW): 5 x (70 x 50 x 60) / 6000 = 175kg

Since DW is larger than AW, the billable weight will be taken in DW, ie 175kg

In case the shipment has many packages of different sizes, you calculate the capacity of each package and then add the total before dividing 6000 to find the DW.

How to calculate volumetric weight of express carriers:

The formula is the same as above, only the divisor part may not be 6000. The specific divisor depends on the carrier, the territory…

For example, in Vietnam, DHL uses the following formula to calculate (only divide 5000)

**Volumetric Weight = Length x Width x Height / 5000**

With the shipment in the example 2 I mentioned above, if using DHL’s formula, the volumetric weight is equal to 5 x (70 x 50 x 60) / 6000 = 210kg. This result is a significant increase compared to the usual 175kg I mentioned at the beginning. This means that DHL will collect more freight for this shipment, and you will have to pay more :). Change the recipe to get more. That’s all!

## Types of air freight charges

There are many types of freight, applicable to general goods, to special goods, or under certain conditions… Common types of freight are as follows:

**Regular fare** (Normal Rate)**Minimum charge** (Minimum Rate – MR): is the lowest level that the air carrier accepts when transporting a shipment. It’s a fixed cost for the carrier, so lower rates don’t work, and they don’t want to take it. Usually, the majority of shipments have a freight rate higher than the minimum.**Grocery freight** (General Cargo rate – GCR): General freight is considered the basic freight rate, calculated for shipments that do not enjoy any preferential or reduced freight rates from the carrier. GCR is used as the basis for calculating charges for items that do not have separate charges.**Freight by type** (Class Cargo rate): Applied to goods that have been classified into certain groups, such as valuable goods (gold, silver, etc. with freight rate = 200% of the general freight), species live animals (= 150% of departmental charge), books, newspapers, luggage… (= 50% of departmental charge).**Fast shipping cost** (Priority rate): goods are prioritized for faster delivery, so the freight is usually 30-40% higher, among the most expensive in air freight.**Container charges** (Container rate): A lower freight rate will apply for goods packed in air containers (different from sea containers).

When transporting goods by plane, in addition to paying the air freight, the shipper also has to pay a number of other fees such as: DO, handling, airport fees, etc. These accounts for a small proportion, so I will not mention it. access more details.

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Above, I have presented the main contents related to the topic of air freight. Hope to bring readers useful reference information.

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