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 Vehicles, Other than Self-Propelled 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 Vehicles, Other than Self-Propelled and hence, the shipping cost. It is calculated as the weight of the shipment divided by its volume. Density in freight shipments is a measure of how much space an item will take up relative to its weight.
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 Vehicles, Other than Self-Propelled, 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 well a shipment can be stowed in relation to other shipments.
Liability is a term used to refer to the accountability or risk involved in transporting Vehicles, Other than Self-Propelled. It's one of the factors considered when determining freight class. It's the level of responsibility a carrier has for the safe delivery of a shipment.
Handling refers to the procedures and precautions taken when moving and storing Vehicles, Other than Self-Propelled. It is one of the factors considered when determining freight class for Vehicles, Other than Self-Propelled. Handling is about the procedures involved in moving and storing goods.
Vehicles Other Bicycles
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.
Almost all U.S. LTL carriers use NMFC freight classes, although some are attempting to move to a dimensionally-based system.
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.