What are Freight Classes?

Freight classes are designed to help you get common standardized freight pricing for your shipment when working with different carriers, warehouses and brokers.   Freight classes are defined by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) and made available through the NMFC or National Motor Freight Classification.

Freight classes (there are 18 of them) are based on weight, length and height, density, ease of handling, value and liability from things like theft, damage, break-ability and spoilage. For the most part, the lower the NMFC class number, the lower the freight charge.  Part of FML’s job is to help you figure out your NMFC freight class, insuring the specialized code is correct. This insures that you get correct and consistent pricing for your freight.  The following table describes the NMFC classes and is meant for general guidance in picking your freight class, a number of factors influence what class your shipment ends up in.  You should contact FML Freight Representative to determine an accurate freight class.

Class NameCostNotes, ExamplesWeight Range Per Cubic Foot
Class 50 – Clean FreightLowest CostFits on standard shrink-wrapped 4X4 pallet, very durableover 50 lbs
Class 55Bricks, cement, mortar, hardwood flooring35-50 pounds
Class 60Car accessories & car parts30-35 pounds
Class 65Car accessories & car parts, bottled beverages, books in boxes22.5-30 pounds
Class 70Car accessories & car parts, food items, automobile engines15 to 22.5 pounds
Class 77.5Tires, bathroom fixtures13.5 to 15 pounds
Class 85Crated machinery, cast iron stoves12-13.5 pounds
Class 92.5Computers, monitors, refrigerators10.5-12 pounds
Class 100boat covers, car covers, canvas, wine cases, caskets9-10.5 pounds
Class 110cabinets, framed artwork, table saw8-9 pounds
Class 125Small Household appliances7-8 pounds
Class 150Auto sheet metal parts, bookcases,6-7 pounds
Class 175Clothing, couches stuffed furniture5-6 pounds
Class 200Auto sheet metal parts, aircraft parts, aluminum table, packaged mattresses,4-5 pounds
Class 250Bamboo furniture, mattress and box spring, plasma TV3-4 pounds
Class 300wood cabinets, tables, chairs setup, model boats2-3 pounds
Class 400Deer antlers1-2 pounds
Class 500 – Low Density or High ValueHighest CostBags of gold dust, ping pong ballsLess than 1 lbs.

Getting it wrong will cost you. If you incorrectly classify your item to be shipped it can be reclassified by the freight carrier. Disputing this is difficult, time consuming and you will be charged the difference (usually without a discount).

Courtesy: Fmlfreight.com

A Practical Example to Determine LTL Freight Class

To properly freight class a shipment of 1 pallet of plastic hose (BO528112035PSL), we need to know the pallet dimension and weight.  This product ships on a standard pallet that can be double stacked for shipment.  The dimensions are 48”Lx40”Wx45.5”H and the weight including pallet is 243.2 lbs.  Using the formula shown above (and repeated below with the numbers from our example) we derive a PCF of 4.8 PCF.  Therefore using the table above our freight would be NMFC class 51140-4 rated at class 150.

  • PCF calculation for a full pallet of 32 cartons of BO528112035PSL
    •  Length x width x height = cubic inches (48”x40”x45.5”=87,360 cubic inches)
    • Cubic inches/1728 = cubic feet   (87,360/1728 = 50.6 cubic feet)
    • Divide weight of the packing unit by the volume. (243.2 lbs /50.6  cubic feet = 4.8 pounds per cubic foot)

Again, it is VERY important as a shipper of freight you understand freight class. Getting it wrong will cost you. If you incorrectly classify your item to be shipped it can be reclassified by the freight carrier. Disputing this is difficult, time consuming and you will be charged the difference (usually without a discount).

Courtesy: Cerasis.com

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