Jun 10, 2022

This article covers the importance of Deadweight DWT and TEU measurements.

Monitoring these values has led to increased cargo lift capacity and an improved tonne per mile ride coefficient rate.

Nowadays these study cases are parts of the EU and Worldwide Maritime Monitoring organizations.

A Maritime Data API is a monitoring tool for managing the operational efficiency and performance of a vessel or a port over time. Using a raw AIS data stream, the Maritime API basically contains two types of information:

Self-service Maritime REST API

1) Dynamic Maritime data such as vessel’s location, speed and direction, and more.

2) Static Maritime Data such as destination, ETA, and draught.

Datalastic uses both static and dynamic AIS Maritime Data in the API.

Maritime APIs bring huge monitoring habilities to prevent and optimize maritime operations. Discover in this article why DWT and TEU values are always in the Maritime Industry’s mouth.

Deadweight ‘DWT’

The Vessels Deadweight is the value that represents the total weight a ship can carry which includes cargo, fuel, stores, crew and more. 

Is commonly used to determine vessels by their size, many ports set docking fees based on deadweight capacity.

Deadweight VS TEU

Talking of ship Dead Weight (DWT) includes both economic and technical topics, as it clearly impacts the economic results of the entire investment project of a Vessel built design and overall performance. When the chosen Deadweight value is larger than that really needed, it provokes an excessive investment and operating costs, while when the Deadweight value set is too small, it leads to the loss of the profitable range due to not optimizing the capacity part of the maritime transport demand.

The Annual Operating Cost ‘AOC’ of a ship depends mainly on the ship deadweight, it refers to the cost of the consumed fuel and the cost of handling operations while the ship is operating.

The term Deadweight Cargo Capacity ‘DWCC’ indicates the potential earning capacity of a vessel. If you would like to know how much cargo you can fit into a bulker or for example, how much liquid cargo you can fit in the tanker, you do need to acknowledge the ship’s optimal Cargo Deadweight (DWCC).

Pour in the tanker too little and the owner will lose money; too much and the ship safety would be compromised, it might even sink 

In the shipping industry, to compare bulkers or tankers the term used is deadweight tonnage. Similarly, container ships comparisons measurements are in ‘TEU’ Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit.


Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit ‘TEU’

Nowadays, the TEU measurement plays an extremely important role in international trade.

Not only is it the unit of measurement for the most popular type of container (20-foot container), but it is also used globally to measure the size and capacity of ships and calculate port activity & efficiency.

Maritime REST API Description

That’s where the TEU plays a huge role. This measure is used to determine the port activity and capacity and with this, brings a clear picture of how much cargo is being transported and handled through the monitored port.

The previous decade shows substantial growth in the Maritime Transport Industry, as well as, in the numbers and sizes of used ships with a size exceeding 4,500 TEUs.

This is the Ship Classification by TEUs

Small Feeder: Can Carry Up to ~1,000TEU

Feeder: Carries ~1,000 to ~2,000TEU

Feedermax: Carries ~2,000 to ~3,000TEU

Panamax: Carries~3,000 to ~5,000TEU

Post Panamax: Carries ~5,000 to ~10,000TEU

Neopanamax: Carries ~10,000 to ~14,500TEU

Ultra Large Container Vessel (ULCV): Carries over ~14,500TEU

Although, there has also been strong growth in orders handled by vessels in the 1,000 to 2,000 TEUs categories, which means increased usage of the vessel’s load centres, which serve the large cargo vessels. It’s been proven that vessel’s operating costs, dramatically fall down with increased ship’s size.

On the other side, the use of an Ultra Large Container Vessel must be based on optimal system and route efficiencies.


Adopting the minimal Required Freight Rate RFR as the criteria main measure in evaluating the ship deadweight is justified. If the future end freight rates are higher than the original minimal freight rate RFR, then, the real profitability rate will be higher than the firstly assumed one.

Environmental ratings for vessels are increasingly important in order for shipowners to operate, trade and win new contracts. Some organizations have investigated how deadweight increases can improve the operational efficiency of bulk carriers and other ship types.

Acceding to Datalastic Maritime API will open a new perspective for the future decision-making process, enabling you to prevent and anticipate decisively actions.

Live Vessel Data API Endpoint

Live Ship Tracking API

See vessel real-time location, ETA, destination, status etc.

Selected Zone tracking ship data Endpoint

Location Traffic API

Define a zone and monitor it, to see all ships and more in your selected area.

Historical ship data Endpoint

Historical Vessel Data API

Discover ships historical data location, their status, and destination.

Vessel route ETA data in Live Vessel API

Vessel Finder AIS API

You can search all vessels by type, similar names, draught, deadweight, year built, and more.

Access vessel destination Port in Vessel Maritime API

Port Finder API

Find maritime ports information, location, time zone, country, and more.


In the current Maritime Industry, the existing trade margins from the stability and strength of big companies are aimed at increasing Deadweight capacity, while the lightship weight remains unchanged. Optimizing deadweight cargo capacity improves a vessel’s tonne per mile rating, but excessive deadweight increases could trigger new issues such as failing on chartering requirements or compromising the safety of the vessel.

Port efficiency acts as a game-changer of shipping costs. Inefficient ports increase handling costs, which are one of the main attributes of shipping pricing. In turn, the main value to monitor port efficiency is how many TEU’s is the port handling. 

Global Maritime AIS Data Coverage Conclusion

Get DWT & TEU Data From Over 750,000 Records With Datalastic’s Maritime API

Interested in acceding to a new perspective of maritime data? Start now! You can get your API Key to access all the AIS Data within a minute! Click the button below to get started right away!

Our team would be happy to assist you with your questions anytime, so feel free to contact us to talk about how our data can help you grow your business or help you increase efficiency in maritime operations. Samples available!

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