Long ton

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Long ton, also known as the imperial ton or weight ton,[citation needed] is the name for the unit called the "ton" in the avoirdupois or Imperial system of measurements standardised in the thirteenth century that is used in the United Kingdom and several other Commonwealth countries alongside the French metrication invented in 1799. One long ton is equal to 2,240 pounds (1,016 kg), 12% larger than a short ton and 1.6% larger than the 1,000-kilogram (2,205 lb) tonne, or 35 cubic feet (0.9911 m3) of salt water with a density of 64 lb/cu ft (1.025 g/ml).[1] It has some limited use in the United States, most commonly in measuring the displacement of ships, and in trade of elemental sulfur, and was the unit prescribed for warships by the Washington Naval Treaty 1922—for example battleships were limited to a displacement of 35,000 long tons (36,000 t; 39,000 short tons).

The Imperial ton was explicitly excluded from use for trade in the United Kingdom by the Weights and Measures Act of 1985.[2][3]

Unit definition

  • A long ton is defined as exactly 2,240 pounds (a little over 1.016 metric tonnes).

The long ton arises from the traditional British measurement system: A long ton is 20 hundredweight, each of which is 8 stone, which is defined as 14 pounds. Thus a long ton is 20 × 8 × 14 lb = 2,240 lb.

International Usage

In order to avoid confusion, especially in international environments, it is recommended to always use the full name: "short ton", "long ton" or "metric tonne".

See also

  • Short ton, equal to 2,000 lb (907.2 kg).
  • Ton
  • Tonnage, volume measurement used in maritime shipping, originally based on 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3).
  • Tonne, also known as a metric ton (t), equal to 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) or 1 megagram.


  1. "Definitions, Tonnages and Equivalents". Military Sealift Fleet Support Command Ships. Retrieved 12 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. legislation.gov.uk: Weights and Measures Act 1985 Retrieved 2013-01-17
  3. A Dictionary of Weights, Measures, and Units, edited by Donald Fenna, Oxford University Press