What is Tare Weight?

Definition: Tare weight is the weight of an empty container employed for transportation purposes. It can also be obtained from subtracting the weight of the cargo content from the container gross weight.

What Does Tare Weight Mean?

This metric is particularly important since it allows the shipping company and the recipient to estimate custom taxes and other shipping expenses that are closely related with the actual weight of the content and not the gross weight of the container. Frequently, these containers have their tare weight properly displayed in their external structure to reduce the complexity of calculations procedures. In many countries this is also legally or formally required.

Since there are many different types of vessels (such as common containers, containers for chemical materials or refrigerated vessels) tare weights are very different depending on which one is being used. Packing and wrapping materials can also be subtracted from gross weight to estimate the content weight, which for trading purposes, is the weight that serves as the basis to estimate the cargo’s value. An easy way to leave the containers weight out of the equation is to place it on the scale (this is of course applicable to small-size cargos or vessels such as boxes) and reset the scale to zero. Then the cargo is added to the vessel and the weight obtained will be the one of the content.


Bottle Up Co. is a company that produces water bottles for athletes. The company has expanded its reach through an online website that has an e-commerce platform incorporated and they sell their products to many athletes in different countries. Since they frequently have to ship items overseas they need to calculate the tare weight before they handle the merchandise to the shipping company to make sure they are not being overcharged. The company developed four standard packages where they ship their items in.

The first one is for 1 to 3 bottles and it weighs 0.3 pounds. The second one is for 4 to 6 bottles and it weighs 0.7 pounds. The third one is for 7 to 12 bottles and its weight is 1 pound and the last one is for 13 to 24 bottles and it weighs 2 pounds. By having these information about the tare weight of the shipments the company can standardize shipping expenses to know beforehand how much the shipping cost will be to charge customers accurately.