When Feathers Outweigh Bowling Balls

Think about that statement in shipping terms.
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Of course feathers don’t literally “outweigh” bowling balls. But if you think about that statement in shipping terms, it starts to make a little bit more sense. Consider this: five hundred pounds of feathers occupy much more trailer space than five hundred pounds of bowling balls. And a hundred pounds of ping pong balls take up more room than one hundred pounds of cheese.

Welcome to the wonderful world of freight classification! It can be a prickly thorn in just about anyone’s side and can cause big problems for both rookie and veteran shippers alike. From understanding what determines freight class to avoiding faulty assumptions that can cost your business money, here’s the quick low down on freight classification.

The class of a product depends on a lot of different factors: weight, density, susceptibility to damage and loadability. Keep in mind that this means that it is possible for different products to have completely different freight classifications – and that one shipment can have multiple freight classifications (also known as mixed-class shipments). Don’t get in the habit of classing everything the same way to save time or a bit of money.

If you aren’t sure if you are classing your freight shipments correctly, check your Manufacturers Spec Sheet. It should contain your freight class or have all the information you need to accurately determine what the shipment’s class should be. Still not sure what your freight classification is? You can refer to a classing tool such as Fast Class or ClassIT or you can contact your Unishippers office for assistance.

And one last thing to take note of – just because the class you use for your shipment has worked up until this point, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s truly the right freight classification. Shipments can often fly under the radar for a long time until suddenly the shipper is hit with unexpected additional charges.

Not knowing the class of your shipment can really cost you. We want your shipping invoice to be as a light as feather, not like you just got stung by a bee.

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