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 Lumber 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 Lumber and hence, the shipping cost. It is calculated as the weight of the shipment divided by its volume. It's the measure of a shipment's mass per unit volume.
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 Lumber, it is important to know if the item can be packaged efficiently and stowed onto the truck easily. In other words- Stowability is the factor that assesses how well an item can be loaded onto a truck.
Liability is a term used to refer to the accountability or risk involved in transporting Lumber. It's one of the factors considered when determining freight class. It's the potential for monetary loss due to damaged or lost shipments.
Handling refers to the procedures and precautions taken when moving and storing Lumber. It is one of the factors considered when determining freight class for Lumber. Handling is the steps taken to manage freight during the shipping process.
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.
Created and maintained by a nonprofit organization called the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) is a classification system used for interstate, intrastate, and foreign commerce movement of LTL shipments. You can learn more on our freight classes pages.
It might be tempting to declare that your shipment is a lower freight class than it actually is in order to secure a lower price, however, carriers will re-classify your freight for accuracy and charge you a fee for having to do so.