What is the NMFC number? How do you determine the freight class? And, how does density factor into it all? Avoid additional shipping fees and become a smarter business-savvy shipper.
How to Class a Shipment the Right Way
You will need to know the National Motor Freight Classification, commonly referred to as the NMFC code. There are 18 freight classes, ranging from 50 – 500, with the higher numbers costing the most to ship. If you don’t have access to NMFC commodity codes, you can order a freight class chart from the National Motor Freight Association (NMFTA) or contact Unishippers for help from our freight shipping experts. NMFC Codes are based on four major characteristics:
1. Density: Refers to how much an item weighs, and class can change depending on density; however, not all items have a density-based class. Generally, higher classes have a higher cost to ship. To determine your package’s density, use Unishippers free density calculator here. You will need to know the length, width, height, and weight of your package.
2. Stowability: Refers to how the shape and size of goods shipped fit into the transportation vehicle. Generally, regular-shaped boxes are easier to ship than large, unusually-shaped items that may require special consideration.
3. Handling: Refers to how much effort is required to move and handle a package. Generally, smaller, light packages require a lower level of handling than a large, heavy item.
4. Liability: Refers to the possibility of damage or dangerous situations to arise. Freight shipping insurance can be purchased.
Together these four characteristics determine a package’s freight class for a shipment. Once you have an accurate density and defined the freight class, you can now put the information into a bill of lading (BOL). Be sure to fill out the bill of lading with the NMFC Code, the subgroup (if there is one), and class.
Does Freight Class Really Matter?
YES! If your package is not classed correctly, you may see unexpected reclassification penalty charges, freight delays, and damaged shipments.
Simplify and Save on Shipping
When you work with a 3PL like Unishippers, you can ship with confidence. Our logistics experts can help you get shipping quotes, navigate complex freight packaging requirements, and prepare proper documentation. Click the button below to get a free freight shipping quote today!