Deadweight Tons (DWT)

Deadweight tonnage (DWT) is a unit of measurement used in maritime transportation to quantify the weight of cargo that a vessel can carry. DWT is also known as “metric tons” or “gross register tons”. 1 DWT is equivalent to 1,000 kilograms or 2,204.6 pounds.

The size and carrying capacity of a vessel is typically expressed in terms of DWT. For example:

  • a large container ship might have a capacity of 150,000 DWT,
  • while a small fishing boat might only have a capacity of 500 DWT.
  • The DWT is also equal to the weight of the seawater that displaced by the vessel. For example, a ship with a DWT of 10,000 tons will displace 10,000 tons of water when it is fully loaded.