Freight class is a standard classification system for shipments, defined by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA). It's used to categorize commodities like Barrels for transport, taking into account factors like weight, dimensions, density, storage capability, ease of handling, and liability. Freight class is a system to categorize different types of goods being shipped.
Density is a key concept in freight shipping, as it significantly impacts the freight class for commodities like Barrels and hence, the shipping cost. It is calculated as the weight of the shipment divided by its volume. It's a crucial factor in determining the freight class of a shipment.
Stowability is used in freight shipping to describe how easily an item can be stowed or stored in relation to other items. For example, when trying to understand stowability for Barrels, it is important to know if the item can be packaged efficiently and stowed onto the truck easily. In other words- It's about how well a freight item can be stored or packed with other items.
Liability is a term used to refer to the accountability or risk involved in transporting Barrels. It's one of the factors considered when determining freight class. It's the obligation of the carrier to ensure safe and secure delivery of goods.
Handling refers to the procedures and precautions taken when moving and storing Barrels. It is one of the factors considered when determining freight class for Barrels. It's the process of moving and storing goods in a way that prevents damage.
Common Commodity Items
For many NMFC® codes there isn’t just one single class that is applied. Often, NMFC® numbers have multiple "sub-classes", which are almost always based on the density of the shipment. In the instance where your NMFC® number has multiple sub classes, it's best to contact an expert, like Koho, to help identify which subclass to use.
An organization known as the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) publishes a list of freight class designations, codes, and subclasses for many commonly shipped commodities (https://classit.nmfta.org/). You must pay a subscription fee to view this list. For more information about freight classes for free on our freight classes pages.
Working with a 3PL like Koho can help you accurately determine your freight class so you can avoid re-classification fees with the carriers. For more information on the freight class system, go to the National Motor Freight and Traffic Association.