How the NMFC Affects Your Business – Freight Class Chart

The NMFC has something to do with freight class. That is about all most of us know what the NMFC is all about. But it can’t hurt to know more what the NMFC is, who runs it, where does it come from, how do I get one, this article is for you! After this article, you will know exactly what the NMFC is and how it affects your business.

First off, the NMFC stands for National Motor Freight Classification. It is a guide used to classify all the commodities shipped and handled by motor carriers in North America.  The commodities are assigned one of 18 different classes – from a low of 50 to a high of 500 – based on four transportation characteristics:  density, stow-ability, handling and liability.

It also includes rules and packaging requirements for each type of commodity to ensure adequate protection for products moving in the LTL motor carrier service.

The NMFC constitutes industry standards which are developed and maintained by the National Classification Committee (NCC), an autonomous committee of 100 carrier representatives who are elected to represent the more than 1,000 motor carriers participating in the NMFC. The NCC’s activities are regulated by the US Surface Transportation Board which is part of the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The NMFC is published by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), a nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, VA.

Defining Freight Class

Although, classes are determined by density, stow-ability, handling and liability, the biggest factor in determining the class is the density. The denser the commodity is, the lower the freight class. Always remember that!

Here is a “rule of thumb” we folks in the freight industry use to do a quick estimate to determine a particular freight class. Of course this should be backed up by the NFMC but you can a pretty accurate idea of a freight class by following this chart.

FREIGHT CLASS CHART

The first column shows the pounds per cubic foot (PCF). The second column shows freight class. So when the PCF is greater than the number in the first column, than the class will likely be the number in the second column.

PCF     Class
50        50
35        55
30        60
22.5     65
15        70
13.5     77
12        85
10.5     92
9         100
8         110
7         125
6         150
5         175
4         200
3         250
2         300
1         400
< 1     500

Article provided by Newgistics Freight Services

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Tim can be reached at twalsh@newgisticsfreightservices.com or (908) 879-2940.