What is freight classification? 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?

Size

Freight classification  begins with weight, height, length, density (pound per square foot).

Value

The value of the shipment is part of the equation.

Stow ability

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?

Handling

So, can the package be handled mechanically or does it require special care? Fragility is a factor as well.

Liability

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.

 

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