Anytime you ship by carrier you deal with weight classes, but do you know what they are and how freight classification works? Freight classes have been formulated to standardize shipping fees across America. The NMFTA (National Motor Freight Traffic Association) classifies shipments into 18 categories.
18 Freight Classes
|Class Name||Cost||Notes, Examples||Weight Range Per Cubic Foot|
|Lowest Cost||Fits on standard shrink-wrapped 4X4 pallet, very durable||over 50 lbs.|
|Class 55||Bricks, cement, mortar, hardwood flooring||35-50 pounds|
|Class 60||Car accessories & car parts||30-35 pounds|
|Class 65||Car accessories & car parts, bottled beverages, books in boxes||22.5-30 pounds|
|Class 70||Car accessories & car parts, food items, automobile engines||15 to 22.5 pounds|
|Class 77.5||Tires, bathroom fixtures||13.5 to 15 pounds|
|Class 85||Crated machinery, cast iron stoves||12-13.5 pounds|
|Class 92.5||Computers, monitors, refrigerators||10.5-12 pounds|
|Class 100||boat covers, car covers, canvas, wine cases, caskets||9-10.5 pounds|
|Class 110||cabinets, framed artwork, table saw||8-9 pounds|
|Class 125||Small Household appliances||7-8 pounds|
|Class 150||Auto sheet metal parts, bookcases,||6-7 pounds|
|Class 175||Clothing, couches stuffed furniture||5-6 pounds|
|Class 200||Auto sheet metal parts, aircraft parts, aluminum table, packaged mattresses,||4-5 pounds|
|Class 250||Bamboo furniture, mattress and box spring, plasma TV||3-4 pounds|
|Class 300||wood cabinets, tables, chairs setup, model boats||2-3 pounds|
|Class 400||Deer antlers||1-2 pounds|
|Class 500 – Low Density or High Value||Highest Cost||Bags of gold dust, ping pong balls||Less than 1 lbs.|
How is Freight Classification Determined?
Freight classification begins with weight, height, length, density (pound per square foot).
The value of the shipment is part of the equation.
Is the shipment a hazardous material, is it odd shaped with protrusions that make it difficult to ship with other packages. Are load bearing surfaces limited?
Can the package be handled mechanically or does it require special care? Fragility is a factor as well.
What is the probability of damaging the shipment? Is it perishable, combustible, or sensitive to the environment?
The Standard for Packaging, Rules, and Bills of Lading
“The NMFC specifies minimum packaging requirements to ensure that goods are adequately protected and can be handled and stowed in a manner that is reasonably safe and practicable so as to withstand the normal rigors of the less-than-truckload environment. It contains various rules that govern and otherwise relate to the classification and/or packaging of commodities as well as procedures for the filing and disposition of claims, and procedures governing interline settlements. It also contains the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading, including its Terms and Conditions.” — National Motor Freight Traffic Association
This post only shares the basics of freight classification, for a complete guide and help with freight classification go to NMFTA Classification Interpretations.