Navigating Gross Versus Net Weight |'s Blog on Customs Brokerage and News Updates

Navigating Gross Versus Net Weight

Any businessperson or shop owner who moves product and cargo through shipping lines must have an understanding of gross weight and net weight. Operating your business without a firm grasp of what these terms mean could lead to a needless waste in spending. Consumers would also benefit from knowledge of these concepts, as some disingenuous companies deliberately hide a paltry amount of product behind the promise of a heavy gross weight.

Tare Weight

Tare weight refers to the weight of the container in which you are shipping your goods. Senders and receivers are both charged the sum of the tare weight and the shipment weight when conducting shipments. If you were to buy a can of ground coffee from the grocery store, the weight of the can would be your desired tare weight.

Gross Weight

The term “gross” in this context refers to something in its entirety. The gross weight of a shipment includes the weight of the container (tare weight) plus the weight of the actual goods that a sender has prepared. Gross weight is simply the combined total weight of the entire shipment.

Net Weight

Net = Gross-Tare

Net weight is simply the tare weight (container) subtracted from the gross weight (container and goods). The net weight is used to specify the weight of the actual goods and shipment purchased by a receiver or sent by a seller. As a businessperson, you are probably familiar with the concept of “net income,” or your total income (gross income) with expenses, taxes, and payments subtracted. Think of this as leftovers.

Why is this important?

It is important to remember these concepts, as we encounter them on a daily basis. A grocery store could label a can of ground coffee as “200 grams gross.” At first glance, this may stand out as a great deal until you remember that the gross weight includes the weight of the container and that the actual grams of ground coffee you purchase could be well below 200 grams.

In the same way, knowing your way around these terms when you transport goods on freight lines will be essential in making sure you are delivering the promised amount of actual product to your clients while having the ability to double-check that you are being charged the proper amount for shipping.