Do tonnes and tons mean the same thing?

The short answer is no.

But, we bet you want the long answer, so here it is.

  • 1 tonne is the same as 1000 kilograms.
  • 1 tonne can also be referred to as a metric ton.
  • Since 1 kilogram is about 2.20462 pounds, that means 1000 kilograms is about 2204.623 pounds
  • So it follows that 1 tonne is about 2204.623 pounds.

The tonne is referred to as a metric ton.

Now let’s move on to the ton. Note that this is not the same as the metric ton we referred to above.

To make things more confusing, keep in mind that there are 2 types of “tons”.

  • The long ton, which is about 1015 kilograms
  • The short ton, which is about 907 kilograms

Note: If it is not specified whether the long or short ton is being referred to – the usual assumption is that the reference is to the short ton.

The ton is most commonly used in the US.

Obviously, it is important to be very clear about weights declared on shipping documentation – for both safety reasons and for the accuracy of freight charges being billed/paid.

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