Deadweight tonnage

Deadweight tonnage

Deadweight tonnage (also known as deadweight and variously abbreviated as DWT, D.W.T., d.w.t., or dwt) is a measure of how much mass or weight of cargo or burden a ship can safely carry. Deadweight tonnage was historically expressed in long tons but is now largely replaced internationally by tonnes. Deadweight tonnage is not a measure of the ship's displacement and should not be confused with terms such as gross register tonnage, net tonnage, or displacement.

Deadweight tonnage at any given time is defined as the sum of the weights or masses of cargo, fuel, fresh water, ballast water, provisions, passengers and crew.

The term is often used to denote maximum deadweight to. This is the deadweight tonnage when the ship is fully loaded, such that its Plimsoll line is at the point of submersion.

See also



  • Gilmer, Thomas C. (1975). Modern Ship Design. Naval Institute Press.
  • Hayler, William B. (2003). American Merchant Seaman's Manual. Centreville, Maryland: Cornell Maritime Press.
  • Turpin, Edward A.; William A. McEwen (1980). Merchant Marine Officers' Handbook, 4th edition. Centreville, Maryland: Cornell Maritime Press.

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