Deadweight tonnage (also known as deadweight; abbreviated to DWT, D.W.T., d.w.t., or dwt) or tons deadweight (DWT) is a measure of how much weight a ship can carry.^{[1]}^{[2]}^{[3]} It is the sum of the weights of cargo, fuel, fresh water, ballast water, provisions, passengers, and crew.^{[1]}

DWT is often used to specify a ship's maximum permissible deadweight (i.e. when it is fully loaded so that its Plimsoll line is at water level), although it may also denote the actual DWT of a ship not loaded to capacity.

Definition

Deadweight tonnage is a measure of a vessel's weight carrying capacity, not including the empty weight of the ship. It is distinct from the displacement (weight of water displaced), which includes the ship's own weight, or the volumetric measures of gross tonnage or net tonnage (and the legacy measures gross register tonnage and net register tonnage).