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Delivery Logistics

How to Raise Payload Capacity of Your Delivery?

Learn how to raise the payload capacity of your fleet by knowing how to calculate it, and increase overall delivery capacity with these strategies.

This is a new guide on raising the payload capacity of your delivery fleet.

In this new guide, we’re going to explain:

  • What is payload capacity in the first place?
  • How to calculate it for the whole delivery fleet?
  • Why does measuring it matter?
  • Seven ways to increase payload capacity
  • And how raising it helps you to boost output

So if you want to handle more deliveries without scaling up your fleet, then you’ll enjoy this post.

Let’s dive right in.

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What Is Payload?

The term payload refers to the sum weight of what a vehicle can carry, including the driver, passengers, and all of the cargo intended for transportation.

What Is Payload Capacity?

Payload capacity refers to the carrying capacity of a vehicle, or the maximum amount of cargo that you can safely load onto a car, van, or truck, and transport over distance.

Usually, you can find the recommended payload capacity in the vehicle’s manual. And the number is typically expressed in tonnes (t) or pounds (lb).

How to Calculate Payload Capacity?

Now that you know what payload capacity is, it’s time to calculate it.

To do this, you need to subtract the curb weight of your truck from its total weight (GVWR).

You can use this formula:


Your owner’s manual will likely have this information.

But in case you have to calculate it, here’s how to do it (step-by-step):

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the maximum weight a vehicle can carry. GVWR takes into account truck-specific factors such as frame and wheels to establish how many pounds the vehicle can sustain.

To calculate it, add the weight of the vehicle (curb weight) to the weight of the rated payload:


Curb Weight

Curb weight refers to the weight of the vehicle itself. This includes the vehicle with all of its parts, including things like seats and rearview mirrors, as well as everything else it requires to operate, from gas to windshield washer fluid.

The passenger weight of anyone riding in the vehicle is also included in the curb weight.


Payload Capacity vs. Towing Capacity

To understand the difference between the towing capacity and payload capacity, consider carrying vs. pulling.

You may be able to pull a certain amount of weight, but that doesn’t mean you can carry it in your hands.

Towing capacity represents the amount of weight a vehicle can pull. The amount of weight it can carry, on the other hand, is referred to as its payload capacity.

When you think about it that way, it may be easier to remember which is which and what the difference between payload and towing capacity is.

Why Does Payload Capacity Matter?

The biggest reason to calculate and monitor payload capacity is safety. It is dangerous to overload vehicles with more weight than it is meant to carry.

In many countries and states, it is also illegal. Companies and drivers that overload their vehicles risk getting heavy fines for risking their safety and the safety of others.

But here’s why else knowing the payload capacity is important:

Vehicle Safety

You may be able to get your vehicle to move with a load heavier than the door sticker indicates. But if you do, the vehicle may:

  • Not accelerate quickly enough to keep up with traffic
  • Slide in turns (especially in bad weather conditions)
  • Take a longer distance to come to a complete stop


Going over the regulated payload capacity is illegal in many states and countries. You will also be at fault if anything happens to your vehicle while on the road.

For example, if your transmission fails under the strain of the load, and you start blocking traffic, you’ll get a ticket on top of towing expenses before you clear the road.

Vehicle Utility

Overloading your vehicle places greater pressure on the frame, suspension, and tires. It also forces the engine and transmission to work much harder than they were intended to.

In the best-case outcome, that’s a lot of wear-and-tear on the parts, which will cause them to fail prematurely. In the worst-case scenario, they will fail immediately.

Vehicle Repairs

As mentioned, overloading your vehicles will lead to your parts failing early, and you’ll need more repairs. And if you need a repair, and it’s because overloading caused the damage, it invalidates your car insurance policy.

As a result, the cost of those repairs will be entirely on your shoulders.

Vehicle Insurance

Driving an overloaded vehicle is dangerous and it leads to accidents. It also voids your vehicle’s warranty. That’s not good because it necessitates the use of the warranty.

What Happens If You Exceed Payload Capacity?

There are several warning signs that your vehicle is exceeding its carrying capacity.

The first thing to notice is the steering wheel.

The increased pressure on the shocks and suspension system will make steering the truck more difficult.

The second risk you face is blowing out a tire as a result of the increased pressure.

Transmission failure, bumps in the road becoming more pronounced, and other structural damages are all possibilities.

The driver’s safety may be jeopardized if the truck payload capacity is exceeded.

Items loaded into the truck will be at risk as well.

Items may fall out of the truck bed at any time because you cannot control the vehicle due to the overload.

How Can You Increase Your Payload Capacity?

Despite the risks, increasing payload capacity IS POSSIBLE.


It calls for analyzing your delivery vehicles from every angle. And changing the ways you use them in your operations.

And keep in mind:

There is a lot of misleading information on how to do it.

So always check with the vehicle capabilities and their different parts before doing anything.

Still, there are at least seven ways to do it, regardless of what vehicles you own or operate:

Optimize Packaging

Packaging is often the main reason why you can’t raise the capacity inside your vehicles.

Yes, it protects orders from damage during transport. But it also takes up a lot of space in stowage.

To raise capacity, you can optimize how you package orders for transportation.

You can invest in lighter packaging materials or smaller containers.

This will reduce the size and weight of the parcels you can load onto the vehicle. So you’ll be able to fit more of them when preparing orders for delivery.

You can also start customizing packaging to make it better fit the shape of your products or vehicles.

Custom packaging reduces the amount of space packages take up inside the vehicle, because there is less space between the packaged items.

You’ll be able to load more items onto the vehicle. But you’ll still need to track payload capacity to ensure that you don’t go overboard.

Cut Weight from Your Vehicles

Another way to raise capacity is to cut weight from your vehicles.

This is a risky process. You’ll need to make sure that the modifications you make won’t jeopardize the safety of the driver or the structural integrity of the vehicle.

You’ll also have to consider the laws and industry regulations before you make these changes. So you don’t break any rules when it comes to vehicle safety.

But if you find a way to customize your vehicles, you can significantly reduce their weight. And increase the payload rating and delivery capacity set by the manufacturer.

Add a Tow

If loading more orders onto the vehicle is out of the question, adding a tow or trailer can raise its carrying capacity.

The only issue here is the combination of payload and towing capacity.

Adding a trailer to your vehicle won’t increase your payload capacity.

If your truck payload is already carrying as much cargo as possible, the extra weight will limit its towing capabilities.

Overloading your vehicle, whether by exceeding payload capacity or towing more than your truck is capable of, can shorten its life.

That will result in costly mechanic bills that a warranty may not cover.

Order Batching

Order batching allows you to combine multiple orders into a single delivery run.

This is useful during peak delivery periods, such as Black Friday or Christmas shopping week, when you have to expand delivery capacity to meet demand.

Generally, you group two or more orders based on a common thread:

This delivery method is also less expensive.

The number of delivery runs is reduced because drivers don’t have to return to pick-up locations after each drop-off.


Order Prioritization

Setting the priority for orders is another way to raise payload capacity.

Instead of batching orders based on a common thread, you batch them based on how important they are to the bottom line.

You can rank orders as top tier deliveries according to:

  • Value of the purchase order
  • Repeat customers vs. new customers
  • Amount of items ordered by a single customer

Top-tier orders will be flagged and scheduled for delivery first, reducing the workload of your fleet. And in doing so, raising its payload capacity.

This also has additional benefits, such as helping you to build trust and loyalty through delivery.

Outsource Deliveries to 3PL

Outsourcing delivery overflow to a third-party provider is a low-cost way to quickly increase capacity and service competency.

This ISN’T a way to increase the payload capacity of your fleet directly.

But by raising the size of the fleet when you anticipate a spike in demand, you raise its capacity to carry more cargo.

This includes special sales offers, peak seasons, or holidays.

That’s why forecasting movement in demand levels is so useful.

Accurate Demand Forecasting

Forecasting probable demand based on past and current cycles provides you with an overview of movement during specific periods.

It also allows you to plan for them ahead of time.

Advanced analytics tools are widely regarded as the most effective means of tracking, recording, and observing data related to your delivery service.

But for those tools to work, you need to monitor key metrics in delivery logistics.

How to Raise Delivery Capacity with Route Optimization

A sure way to raise payload capacity is to increase delivery capacity.

This requires you to raise the efficiency of your fleet.

One way you can do this is to optimize delivery routes.

By mapping out better routes, you can carry more goods to customers.

It also means that it takes less time to fulfill orders. And you’ll be able to do it at a lower cost.

Because of this, you can expand the overall delivery capacity and raise the carrying power of your fleet.

And route optimization enables you to do this because it helps you to:

Plan the most efficient routes

Using software to optimize delivery routes isn’t just about mapping a route from point A to point B.

It has more to do with how you map routes with multiple stops for all the vehicles in your fleet.

Route optimization software lets you do this in the most efficient way

You can plan a route based on speed, cost, and a number of other factors.

It also helps you to plan routes with a higher stop frequency.

This means that it takes you drivers less time to handle more deliveries. Which means that you raise the capacity of your fleet.

Factor vehicle capacity when route planning

Another way route planners help you to raise fleet capacity is by allowing you to factor in vehicle capacity when mapping delivery routes.

The software enables you to create a custom fleet - a digital representation of the physical vehicles that you own.

This means that you can add the payload capacity for each vehicle.

It also lets you plan drop-offs around their payloads and monitor capacity use.

In doing so, you can achieve two things:

First, you can monitor availability for each vehicle and their idle capacity.

You can use this data to maximize fleet capacity by assigning more deliveries to each driver and optimizing the use of every vehicle.

You can also use that data to forecast demand more accurately.

This means you can anticipate the capacity you’ll need to fulfill large order volumes. But also ensure you have the required vehicle load capacity to complete all orders.

Or you can use the information to downsize the fleet. And ensure you don’t waste resources on unused capacity which remains regularly idle.

Plan driver schedules ahead of time

Route optimization software also enables you to plan better delivery schedules. Which you can do ahead of time.

This enables you to stay ahead of the curb, and anticipate the required payload capacity to complete each order.

With delivery slots, you can maximize the number of deliveries per vehicle. And easily batch orders based on the date and time of the delivery.

It also helps you to estimate the required time you’ll need to fulfill all the orders. Which will help you to evaluate the availability of your fleet.

Best of all, the software stores all of your schedules on the cloud.

So you can plan your delivery schedules weeks in advance, and adjust them as necessary as you approach each delivery date.

Cut delivery times and raise no. of deliveries

You save a LOT of time with delivery software and route optimization.

In fact, it can take you less than 60 minutes to plan all of the deliveries for any given day.

And because your drivers transport goods using optimal routes, they cut travel time by as much as half.

With more time in their schedules, they can complete more deliveries. Which means you raise the daily delivery capacity of your fleet, as well as its payload capacity.

Now, over to you:

If you want to improve the efficiency of your last-mile delivery, we can help you beyond payload capacity.


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