Deadweight Tonnage

Posted in Operations and Supply Chain Terms, Total Reads: 923

Definition: Deadweight Tonnage

As per the Archimedes principle, if the weight of the object exceeds the weight of water displaced by it, then the object will sink in water. Using the same principle, we calculate the maximum load a ship can transport safely. This weight limit is known as Deadweight ton. It is defined as weight in tons of all cargo, fuel, dry provisions, supplies etc carried on board.


Carriers often use this term to indicate the amount of cargo that can be transported from one place to other. It is a good indicator to the ship owner of how much revenue the vessel is capable of generating.


Let us calculate the deadweight ton of a ship to gain more insight on the concept. Suppose a vessel weighs 3500 tons and carries fuel, cargo and other supplies which weighs 1000 tons. What should be the deadweight tonnage of the vessel?

If you answer 4500 tons then it is wrong, since the deadweight tonnage concept excludes the weight of the vessel. Hence, in this case, the D.W.T. of the vessel is 1000 tons.


Hence, this concludes the definition of Deadweight Tonnage along with its overview.

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