Freight class plays an integral role in LTL shipping industry in the US. However, many people seem to think it is a bit intricate or mysterious. What is freight class, and how do you find the right class?
Freight class is intended to help individuals get common consistent pricing for their shipment when working with various brokers, warehouses and carriers. It is defined by NMFTA or National Motor Freight Traffic Association and made accessible thru the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC). Within the US, each type of product or commodity is assigned in NMFC and conforming class for less than truckload or LTL freight shipments.
The system of NMFC is a standardized process intended to give customers a constant pricing structure when transferring freight. In a ship package, 18 classes are fall under with class 50 as the least expensive to class 500 as the most expensive. The assigned number to a particular item is essential to freight carriers so that price lists can be determined. This will allow a carrier to determine the price charged to the consumer.
How to determine your freight class?
Certain factors need to be considered first before determining your freight class. Primarily, this is based on height, length, weight, density, value, ease of handling and liability from things such as damage, spoilage, break-ability and theft.
(Length, Height, Weight) Value and Density
Density guidelines give 50 freight classifications that weigh up 50 pounds for every cubic foot. The CSSB or Commodity Classification Standards Board assigns 70, 92.5, 175 and 400 classifications to freight with 5, 10.5 and 15 densities, and 1 pound for every cubic foot. Freight that is less than 1 pound for every cubic foot is categorized as 500.
In most situations, freight is full of mechanical tools and poses no difficulties when it comes to handling. But because of the shape, weight, hazardous or fragility properties, special attention is necessary.
Mostly, freight greatly stows in boats, trains and trucks. However, some articles are delimited by the carrier policies or government. Some materials are not loaded together. Hazardous items are carried in a certain process. A calculable stow-ability classification is needed to represent the complexity of carrying and loading other items.
Liability is the possibility of freight damage or theft, or damage to neighboring freight. Perishable shipment or shipment prone to impulsive explosion or combustion is classified based on liability. If this happens, value per pound would be assigned, which is a fraction of the liability of a carrier.
How to calculate freight class?
A freight class calculator is highly recommended to use when calculating pounds or density per cubic foot. By entering weight, dimensions and quantity, the calculator calculates the density of shipment. This density can now be used to identify a number. These density calculators are mostly available online for free. The number allied with a density is simply a suggestion. So, you are advised to contact your freight broker agent if you have doubt on your freight class so that they can further assist you.
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