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What is Freight Class and its Different Factors that Determine Freight Class

Bariah Ahmad | July 16, 2021

Table of contents

    What is Freight Class?

    Comprising the full truckload (FTL), less-than-truckload (LTL), and partial truckload (PTL), carriers and freight forwarders provide shippers with various shipment choices.

    In the United States or across the US/Canada border, freight class is a way of classifying less than truckload (LTL) freight.

    This type of freight is utilized by both domestic and US carriers, who use the NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification) to price their freight.

    When using somewhat smaller freight, such as less than truckload shipment (LTL), you should take the freight class into consideration. It makes the pricing approach considerably equitable by standardizing freight costs.

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    # Freight Class Code Type of Freight Weight Per ft3
    1 50 Durable freight that fits on a standard 4'×4' pallet 50+ lbs
    2 55 hardwood flooring, Bricks, cement, construction materials 35–50 lbs
    3 60 car parts, Car accessories 30–35 lbs
    4 65 Car accessories and parts, boxed books, bottled drinks 22.5–30 lbs
    5 70 auto engines, Car accessories and parts, food items 15–22.5 lbs
    6 77.5 bathroom fixtures, Tires 13.5–15 lbs
    7 85 cast iron stoves, Crated machinery 12–13.5 lbs
    8 92.5 Computers, refrigerators, monitors 10.5–12 lbs
    9 100 Car covers, canvas, boat covers, wine cases, caskets 9–10.5 lbs
    10 110 Cabinets, framed art, table saws 8–9 lbs
    11 125 Small home appliances 7–8 lbs
    12 150 Auto sheet metal, bookcases 6–7 lbs
    13 175 Clothing, couches, stuffed furniture 5–6 lbs
    14 200 Sheet metal parts, aluminum tables, packaged mattresses, aircraft parts 4–5 lbs
    15 250 Mattresses and box springs, plasma TVs, bamboo furniture 3–4 lbs
    16 300 Model boats, assembled chairs, tables, wood cabinets 2–3 lbs
    17 400 Deer antlers 1–2 lbs
    18 500 Gold dust, ping pong balls <1 lb

    Factors that Determine Freight Class

    National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) classifies all products, and that classification serves as the basis for establishing a product's class for all major carriers.

    NMFC utilizes four factors to classify a product’s freight class, these include density, stowability, handling, and liability.

    Each of these factors that determine the freight class are described below:

    Stowability

    Classification used to describe items that are difficult to load and carry is represented as stowability. When shipping freight, most of it usually stows on trucks, ships/boats and trains.

    There are certain commodities, however, that are subject to governmental or carrier rules, and certain products will not be able to be loaded simultaneously.

    For instance, hazardous items are delivered following a certain method and are governed by special rules. Moreover, the packages that are too heavy, long, or have unusual dimensions might make it difficult to load with other freight.

    Liability

    The more valuable the commodity, the greater the freight rates will be. A carrier will take into consideration if the probability of theft or damage is high, as well as the potential harm caused by a single shipment to another consignment.

    For instance, potentially hazardous compounds are treated have higher class than standard nuts and bolts.

    Ease of Handling

    The items that have unique handling need, because of their size, weight, or level of endarkenment. They thus demand careful attention and treatment to be transported in freight.

    Merchandise handling therefore is taken into consideration when determining the freight class. Handling is a factor to consider when giving a class to product that has uncommon or substantial handling characteristics.

    Density

    The density in freight class relates with the amount of space and weight of the product in the trailer, as well as pallet utilization.

    The general rule to determine freight class is the smaller the density, the higher the classification. Smaller, heavier, and denser products fall into a lower-class category and are cheaper to send.

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    How many Freight Classes are there?

    Your freight class is determined by the NMFTA, and this is referred to as NMFC abbreviated for National Motor Freight Classification. The freight class of your item dictates the shipping costs for the carrier.

    Freight classification has 18 different classes, starting with class 50 (the least costly) and ending with class 500 (the most expensive). The freight class is based on what is in the shipment, and what NMFC number is assigned to it.

    It uses the size and weight of the cargo, as well as the number of components, ranging from 50 to 1. Lighter-weight shipments have higher freight classifications than their heavier counterparts. The 18 different types of freight classes from 50 to 500 are mentioned below.

    What is Freight Class 50?

    The class 50 is the lowest freight class and comprises sturdy, low value products which fit readily on a typical pallet. The lower your freight class, the lower your cargo rate (and vice versa).

    What is Freight Class 55?

    The weight included in class 55 should be more than 50 pounds. The materials it constitutes are bricks, cement, mortar, hardwood flooring, cloths or rags, magazines, copy paper etc.

    What is Freight Class 60?

    The weight range for class 60 is from 30 to 35 lb per cubic foot. The products included are car parts and accessories, crated machinery, glue, bottled water.

    What is Freight Class 65?

    This class have a weight range from 22.5 to 30. The products included are books, bottled beverages.

    What is freight class 70?

    The weight range in class 70 is 15 – 22.5 lb per cubic foot. The class 70 constitutes the articles like car accessories & car parts, food items, automobile engines.

    What is Freight Class 85?

    The weight range for class 85 is 12 to 13.5 lbs and it includes doors and DVDs related products.

    What is Freight Class 77.5?

    The weight it includes are from 13.5 to 15 pound per cubic foot. Tires, bathroom fixtures are included in the class 77.5.

    What is Freight Class 92.5?

    The weight range is 10.5 to 12 pounds per cubic foot and the materials included are computers, refrigerators etc.

    What is Freight Class 100?

    The canvas, car covers are the materials included in the class 100 and the weight range is 9 to 10.5 pounds.

    What is Freight Class 110?

    Class 110 weight is 8-9 pounds per cubic feet. Class 110 comprises big frames, cabinets, framed artworks, and instruments for building and house construction.

    What is Freight Class 125?

    Class 125 weights 7-8 pounds per cubic feet. This category constitutes home equipment. From toasters to coolers, everything related to the household are included.

    What is Freight Class 150?

    Class 150 weighs 6-7 pounds per cubic foot. Here you will discover metal sheets, massive car components and large pieces of furniture such as bookshelves and dressers.

    What is Freight Class 175?

    Class 175 constitutes 5-6 lbs. per cubic foot. Couches, very huge furniture, enormous tables and racks for closets are some of the goods in class 175, as can be seen by the weight per cubic foot.

    What is Freight Class 200?

    The weight is 4-5 pounds per cubic foot in class 200. In this big stocks of sheets, car and airplane spare parts, heavy aluminum shipments, frames for beds, mattresses and so on are included.

    What is Freight Class 250?

    Class 250 weighs 3-4 pounds per cubic foot. Beds, box springs, mattresses, big televisions and electronic gadgets, screens and such appliances are added.

    What is Freight Class 300?

    Class 300 constitutes from 2 to 3 pounds per cubic foot. Hefty, heavy furnishings, related to cabinets and like devices are included.

    What is Freight Class 400?

    Class 400 constitutes the products weighing 1-2 pounds per cubic foot. It begins to be quite costly from this class. Deer Antlers is one of the class 400 goods, as it is particularly hard to store, place and are quite bulky.

    What is Freight Class 500?

    The articles weighing less than a pound per cubic foot are included in class 500. Class 500 is the highest costly NMFTA classification and contains ping pong balls.

    What are most common freight classes (60,70, 85, 92.5, 100)

    60: Class 60 includes articles having weight 30-35 lb/cubic feet. Parts and accessories for cars, crated machinery, glue, water bottled constitutes it.

    70: Class 70 includes the products weighing 15 - 22.5 pounds per cubic foot. Food, vehicle equipment including engines and accessories are present in it.

    85: The 85th class weighs around 12-13.5 pounds per cubic foot. Motor car engines, iron furnaces, crated machinery and all heavy products are included in class 85.

    92.5: Class 92.5 constitutes products weighing 10.5-12 pounds per cubic foot. It includes articles like computers, monitors, fridges, ice makers.

    100: The value 9 - 10.5 pounds, as weight per cubic foot is set for the class 100. You will discover products such as wine, beer, boat and automobile covers, towels, carpets and all things likewise in this group.

    Why Freight Classification is Important

    Understanding freight classifications is really crucial as it allows you to send your cargo appropriately and according to the original density of your products.

    On the contrary, the misclassification of the freight can lead to additional expense and delay, since carriers have the authority to check and reclassify the cargo of your LTL.

    We hope this article helped you understand how to calculate freight class. There are many online tools that help in managing the business like simple interest calculator and sales tax calculator