All you need to know about the tare weight in shipping

The mention of tare and gross weight while booking containers is prevalent in the shipping industry. Being in the business, you must have heard these terms and wondered why they are so important. In simple terms, tare weight is the mass of a container or vehicle when it is empty. It influences the rates of container transport, e.g., while booking inland haulage as well as road transportation norms in the country. And just like the freight shipments must abide by the rules and regulations laid down by the port authorities, there are safety guidelines for inland transportation as well. Thus, the role of inland haulage is as crucial as that of seaborne transportation completing the process of shipment.

In respect to road safety measures, the concept of container weight verification was brought by the IMO (International Maritime Organisation). As per this amendment, the SOLAS (Safety of Life At Sea) Regulation VI/2 came into effect. The concept of tare weight (unladen weight) comes concerning the calculation of gross weight (laden weight). Understanding the concept of tare and net weight will help you avoid the last-minute modifications to your shipping crates to bring balance to the ideal weight as per the predefined norms. Let us understand the concept of tare, net and gross weight. For a brief description, you can also click and know more here


The weight of shipping containers plays a crucial role in handling them safely. 

Tare Weight: Definition and Associated Factors 

Tare weight shares a direct association with the gross and net weight, which are also a part of inland haulage norms and regulations. You must know about the role of these factors in computing the rates of inland haulage services. The values of these weighing measures also affect taxation and tolls. Let us understand the significance of tare, gross, and net weight. 

Tare Weight (Unladen Weight) 

In simple terms, the tare (unladen) weight is the defined mass of a vehicle or a shipping container. It is also commonly referred to as the “unladen weight”. When there is no product or external force on a trailer or tractor, the vehicle exerts only the load of its composition. The figure that comes on the weighing scale at this time is usually taken as the unladen weight. 

The shippers can either calculate it by themselves at the time of loading or mote down the aforementioned figures. Yes, more often than not, the unladen weight is lettered on the intermodal container to help the shippers in calculating the gross weight. And if it is not available, you can calculate it easily by deducting the net weight of the goods from the gross weight of the container. 

Associated Factors with Unladen Weight 

Apart from the unladen weight, net and gross weight also play a crucial role in the shipping business. You will notice the mention of these two terms quite often as the formula for calculating tare weight involves these two. 

Net Weight 

Net weight is the total mass of a shipping container after it is packed and loaded. So, when you book inland haulage, you have to be careful with the net weight. It is the value that you have to achieve by balancing the unladen weight and cargo mass. 

Gross Weight (Laden Weight)

The gross weight is the total mass of the trailer and tractor and all its load or contents. In the case of intermodal shipment, the combination of the weight of the container and the chassis is taken along with the total weight of the cargo. The gross weight is also referred to as “laden weight” in some of the countries. When the tare or unladen weight is not available, the gross weight is very helpful in calculating the same. 

The Importance and Advantages of Unladen Weight 

With the tare weight known, it becomes more accessible for a shipper to calculate the costs related to the transportation of the goods. You can assess the approximate taxation and tolls related to rail, trucks and barges. Since the 2016 amendment has made it compulsory to abide by the SOLAS regulations, the significance of knowing gross weight has also increased. 

The advantages of knowing the tare, net and gross weight values impact the costs of shipment directly. With the knowledge of these values, it becomes easier for the traders to maintain the weight balance of the consignment. To make things simpler, the shippers can ask for the unladen weight at the time of booking the shipment. You must also note that the printed tare and gross weight differs from the present calculator if the container is old. Wear and tear causes vehicles and trailers to lose their natural mass in the long run. 

As a budding trader and an integral part of the shipping industry, knowledge will be your asset for the rest of the journey. Understanding small terms like the unladen and laden weight can help you avoid hassles. Therefore, it is crucial to realise these factors earlier. 

Show More

admin, published by anonymous & Company, tracks the pulse of markets for engaged investors with more than 1 million visitors per month. The site is a leading innovator in business news, Industry music, and entertainment magazines.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button