Freight Class Explanation

Logistics Worldwide understands that classing your freight correctly can be a frustrating task. There are a total of 18 classes, and each is used in determining the rate where a corresponding relationship exists. These classes have been developed by the NMFTA as a guideline for all common carriers.

Freight classification generally pertains to LTL (less-than-truckload) and is typically rated per hundred pounds. The class ranges between 50 to 500. More dense items such as steel and machinery have low freight classifications (50 through 85). The lower the class, the less the rate and vice versa. Fragile or bulky items typically fall into freight classes 125 to 500, and cost more to ship.

When determining the class of a product, NMFC uses four characteristics:

✔ Density

✔ Stowability

✔ Handling

✔ Liability

Density - Divide the total weight of a shipment by the total cubic feet to determine the density. Step 1. Measure the height, width, and depth of the shipment in inches. Measure to the farthest points, including skids or other packaging.

Stowability - By definition stowability refers to how the dimensions (size and shape) of the goods being shipped fit into the container that is facilitating the shipment. Stowability is one of the seven major categories that effect the economics of transportation services. Along with distance, volume, density, handling, liability, and market factors, stowability plays a key role on how the rate class will be determined, which effects the total cost of shipping a particular good.

Handling – Goods, cargo, or lading transported for pay, whether by water, land, or air. The ordinary conveyance or means of transport of goods provided by common carriers (distinguished from express).

Liability – Liability is the actual cost that the carrier deems the product is worth to move, if damaged or lost.

If you need assistance with calculating the density of your items, please feel free to contact us and we will calculate it for you.

A significant amount of class applications require the density to determine the actual class. This is done by multiplying the height, width and length in inches, and then dividing by 1728 to determine the cubic footage. Take the weight then divide the cubic footage into it to determine the PCF (pounds per cubic foot).

Have you been getting hit with re-classes, re-weighs or W&I violations? We can help reduce the associated costs. Our experienced freight class and NMFC experts will assist with determining the reasons for your re-classes or re-weighs. We’ll help you implement best practices for quoting and booking all freight shipments in the future.