What is Freight Class?

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 Clay 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.

How to determine Freight Class

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Density is a key concept in freight shipping, as it significantly impacts the freight class for commodities like Clay and hence, the shipping cost. It is calculated as the weight of the shipment divided by its volume. It's the parameter used to calculate the freight class of a shipment.

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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 Clay, it is important to know if the item can be packaged efficiently and stowed onto the truck easily. In other words- Stowability is a measure of how easily a shipment can be packed or stored for transport.

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Liability is a term used to refer to the accountability or risk involved in transporting Clay. It's one of the factors considered when determining freight class. Liability is the potential financial risk associated with transporting goods.

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Handling refers to the procedures and precautions taken when moving and storing Clay. It is one of the factors considered when determining freight class for Clay. Handling is about the care and precautions taken during the movement of goods.

Freight Class Commodities


Cleaning Scouring

Washing Compounds



Not required by the U.S. Department of Transportation to bear a Hazard Class or Hazard Division label or placard, Does not apply on hand soap in freestanding bottles or containers with integral pump. For applicable provisions, Soap, hand, in pump dispensing unit,Applies only on hand soap contained in freestanding bottle or container with integral pump. Does not apply on bathroom or lavatory fixtures, in boxes, subject to Item 170 and having a density in pounds per cubic foot of. And Does not apply on materials regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation as hazardous and required to bear a Hazard Class or Hazard Division label or placard. For classes applicable to such hazardous materials, see provisions elsewhere in this Classification. viz.Bluing, laundry; Cleaning, Scouring or Washing Compounds, NOI; Degreasers; Detergents; Soap, liquid or other than liquid, including Soap Powder, NOI; In bags, boxes, drums, pails, intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) or Packages 602, 1333, 2039, 2189, 2213, 2289, 2309, 2341, 2355, 2393, 2398, 2399, 2410, 2440, 2463, 2467, 2473, 2478, 2479, 2499, 2500, 2521, 2526, 2528 or 2530

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.


How do I find my NMFC code?

An organization called the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) publishes a list of freight class designations, codes, and subclasses for many frequently shipped items ( To view this list, you must pay a subscription fee. Learn more about freight classes from the experts at Koho for free on our freight classes pages.

Are NMFC and Freight Classes the same thing?

Every commodity has both a freight class and a NMFC code. Freight class represents a category of items while NMFC codes relate to specific commodities within each of the 18 freight classes.