Read Time : 5 Minutes


  1. Introduction
  2. Potential Disadvantages of Weight Discrepancy in Shipping
  3. 5 Ways to Avoid Weight Discrepancy
  4. Wrapping Up


Weight discrepancy in shipping refers to the issue of difference of weight of a package arising between the seller and the shipping company. The difference usually arises when the weight provided by the seller is not agreed to by the shipping company. Understanding the reason behind weight discrepancies and the different methods of calculating weight is crucial to reduce such differences.

Weight discrepancies can have several implications for the shipping process. For example, if the actual weight is higher than the declared weight, the shipping carrier may charge additional fees or reject the shipment altogether. On the other hand, if the actual weight is lower than the declared weight, the seller may be overcharged for shipping fees.

The formula for calculating weight discrepancy in shipping is:

Weight Discrepancy = Actual Weight – Declared Weight


Actual Weight is the weight of the package as calculated by the shipping carrier.

Declared Weight is the weight that was declared or estimated by the seller at the time of shipping.

If the weight discrepancy is positive (i.e., the actual weight is higher than the declared weight), it means that the seller may be charged additional fees or penalties by the shipping carrier. If the weight discrepancy is negative (i.e.the actual weight is lower than the declared weight), the seller may have overpaid for shipping and may be eligible for a refund or credit.

Potential Disadvantages of Weight Discrepancy in Shipping

Legal repercussions

Weight discrepancy in shipping is regarded as fraudulent and may subject the seller to fines, legal action, and reputational harm.

Safety concerns

For safe handling and transportation of packages, accurate weight information is essential. A package may not be secured or handled safely if its weight is significantly underestimated, thus leading to damage, harm, or in worst cases, death.

Ethical issues

Lying about a package’s weight is unethical and can erode relationships between the seller, the shipping carrier, and the recipient.

For everyone’s safety as well as to uphold the reputation of the shipping sector, it is crucial to report package weights accurately.

5 Ways to Avoid Weight Discrepancy

The following five strategies will help you minimise weight disputes in your shipments.

  1. Choose the Right Shipping Partner When Outsourcing

    In order to manage business operations effectively, sellers can outsource the fulfilment of their online sales. A logistics aggregator can assist sellers in accurately determining the weight of the packages, and monitoring weight differences if any. 

  2. Automate the measurement of irregular packages

    For packages of irregular shapes, for example, pipes, rugs, fabrics, and polybags they must be weighed using a cubic measurement. For such cases, manual cubic calculations would not produce precise results.
    A dimensioning system is therefore needed to perform the calculations. Automated tools should be used by e-commerce companies to determine the volumetric weights of irregular packages.

  3. Utilise Proper Packaging Materials

    One of the most crucial components for reducing weight discrepancy is packaging material. Packaging your goods properly will protect them during transport and cut shipping costs. Sellers must choose packaging material that is sturdy and lightweight.
    Sellers that are unsure of what packaging materials to use can take the help of packaging experts to determine which materials are appropriate for their needs.

  4. Keep an image of the package handy

    Keep a picture of the package handy to contest any claims made by the courier service. Images must be clicked from all dimensions in order to demonstrate the correct measurement. To ensure sufficient proof is available, if required, sellers can also record and keep a video of the product packaging.

  5. Correct Volumetric Weight Measurement

    Finally, the most crucial step is determining the precise volumetric weight of your shipment. Volumetric weight is the dimensional weight of a shipment determined by multiplying the sum of the dimensions (length, breadth, and width in cm) and dividing it by 5000. However, do note that not all shipping carriers follow the same divisor. It is advisable to check with them before calculating volumetric weight.

Wrapping Up

For almost all sellers out there, weight discrepancy is a pertinent issue. But, that does not mean that it cannot be avoided. The key is to find a reliable logistics enabler who can help ensure transparency in weight management of shipments to avoid discrepancies.