Freight Classification: critical expertise to avoid unpleasant surprises at checkout!

Freight Classification: critical expertise to avoid unpleasant surprises at checkout!

A commodity’s freight class as well as its NMFC code tells you a lot about what it is, including its composition, weight per cubic foot, packaging requirements, and more! Often unbeknownst to shippers, these two pieces of information are crucial for the carrier, as they impact transportation logistics… and, of course, the cost of the project! But how do we establish these two indicators? Our logistics experts provide clarity on the issue!

The NMFC and its 18 freight classes

The National Automotive Freight Classification (NMFC) is a universal transportation classification system created by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association. This system is used mainly by carriers to determine the price of interstate, intrastate, and foreign movement, to accurately assess the cost of goods transportation.

The NMFC is based on the following criteria:

  • Density

The load weight divided by its dimension in cubic feet.

  • Stowability

The complexity of configuring a load for its transportation.

  • Handling

The care with which a load is transported to preserve its integrity.

  • Liability

The legal responsibility associated with the load. This includes price per pound as well as risk of theft, damage, and loss.

Combined, these 4 criteria are rated anywhere between 50 (low NMFC class number) and 500 (very high NMFC class number). This rating is subsequently associated with one of 18 classes of “transportability”. That said, the higher the load class rate, the higher the transportation costs.

In short

The class associated with a commodity’s transportation determines its packaging requirements and allows your carrier to ensure that your goods are well protected and shipped safely. Knowing the freight class will also give you an accurate estimate of the type of shipment to make. Unfortunately, when the wrong freight class is assigned to a load, the shipment has to be reclassified, thereby potentially affecting the price.

Prevent mistakes by relying on experienced professionals

Do you need a thorough assessment of your transportation activities or would you like to benefit from our outstanding logistics expertise? GMR Freight Brokers’ team of certified freight forwarders will be pleased to assist you. Contact us today!