Medical Supplies

What is Freight Class?

When you ship your products as LTL (less-than-truckload), you will need to assign your shipment a freight class number. The freight class number is a standard code published by the National Motor Freight and Traffic Association which allows carriers to quickly identify qualities of the shipment and assist with transportation logistics.

Medical supplies come in a variety of shapes, sizes and weights. Because of this, the freight class for supplies can range from 70-400. We list some common medical supplies and their associated freight class codes here. Generally, the lower the freight class code, the cheaper the shipment will be.

How to determine Freight Class

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Density is identified by the dimension and weight of your shipment. Medical supplies like bandages, blankets, compresses, splints, and sponges can have varying freight class codes based on the density of individual pieces.

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Does your shipment require any special handling? Equipment like exam tables must be packaged in a crate or industrial box which can affect the freight class code.

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Liability is defined by the value of your shipment and its likeliness to be stolen or damaged. High valued equipment such as dental or medical instruments and machines can increase your shipment’s freight class number.

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Is your equipment difficult to stow or transport? Heavier or hazardous goods such as certain dental or medical machines can increase your shipment’s freight class, increasing your cost to ship.


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.


Is insurance recommended when shipping medical supplies?

‍Insurance is highly recommended for medical supplies as any damage to the shipment in transit can reduce the value of the entire shipment due to potential contamination. Make sure to package your product well and purchase insurance for higher value products.

‍How critical is the correct classification of medical supplies?

‍Medical supplies have a wide range of classes and it's important to make sure you use the correct NMFC© for your product to prevent reclassifications. Medical supplies can be tricky because they don’t always correlate to the density class calculation, making the NMFC© even more important.