Packaging

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.

Packaging comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and weights. Because of this, the freight class for packaging can range from 60-400. We list some common packaging 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

DENSITY

Density is identified by the dimension and weight of your shipment. Packaging supplies like bags, packets, or bubble wrap can have varying freight class codes based on the density of individual pieces.

STOWABILITY

Does your shipment require any special handling? Containers can come in a variety of sizes and shapes, which can affect the freight class code.

LIABILITY

Liability is defined by the value of your shipment and its likeliness to be stolen or damaged. Some items like specialty packing boxes and supplies can have a higher freight class number.

HANDLING

Is your equipment difficult to stow or transport? Unconventional supplies like packaging for meat or poultry can increase your shipment’s freight class, increasing your cost to ship.

NMFC SUBCLASSES

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.

Commodity & Class Breakdowns

Commodity Item
NMFC
Class
Tips
Containers

156600

60, 65, 70, 85, 92.5, 100, 125, 175, 250, 300, 400

Density will determine which class to use.

Cardboard Boxes

29785

60, 65, 70, 85, 92.5, 100, 125, 175, 250, 300, 400

Density will determine which class to use.

Meat or Poultry Packaging

20518

110

Only includes mesh type or cotton.

Plastic Film, Bags, Packets, Pouches, Sleeves, Bubble Wrap

149260

250, 400

Density of materials will determine which class to use.

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FAQS

What is the biggest factor in determining packaging freight class?

Since packaging can range widely in size and material, the density of your shipment will be the biggest influence on the class. Work to make your shipment as dense as possible to achieve the lowest class.

What is the best way to package my packaging material?

Packaging should always be secured to a pallet in boxes or loose with shrink wrap. Carriers may reject shipments that contain multiple loose boxes or materials.