What does "stackable" mean for transport cost?

In the transport and logistics sector, terms such as "stackable goods", "stackability" or "non-stackable cargo" are commonly used.

Why is stackability needed when calculating the cost of transport?

Non-stackable loads have to be charged as if they occupy the entire height of the truck. So this means that the volume to be charged is much higher than the actual volume.

The stackability of goods determines whether an additional load can be added on top of it during the transport or storage process. It is a factor that affects the calculation of the volumetric weight and chargeable or billable weight - and therefore the cost of transport.

What sort of cargo is stackable?

Cargo is stackable when its characteristics allow other goods to be placed on top of it. Generally speaking, this means that they can withstand the additional weight and that the packaging is strong enough. In addition, the upper part of the packaging must be uniform and flat so that it is possible to load other goods on top without any risk of them being unstable.

What sort of cargo is non-stackable?

  • Fragile or delicate goods
  • Packaging which does not have a flat top, or is not uniform

So the chargeable or billable weight of a shipment is the greatest of the volumetric weight or the actual weight. 

It follows that stackable goods will always cost less to ship.

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