Awesome Image

What Are NMFC Codes? Read This Simple Guide to Find Out

You have probably heard of freight classes, whether you send LTL freight frequently or just once or twice a year. It is not sufficient to simply be informed about freight classes and classification.

It is crucial to comprehend freight classes and NMFC codes sufficiently as a small business and member of the transportation sector. Let us examine the NMFC codes that are frequently used with LTL freight and LTL shipping in more detail.

What Is Freight Class?

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) has developed a standardized system for classifying LTL freight and cargo called freight. Because they determine a commodity’s transportability, these freight classifications are crucial. In a similar vein, this system is enforced by the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) standard. 

There Are 18 Different Freight Classes

All commodities can be categorized into one of 18 freight classes when shipping LTL, and freight classes can have a range of 50 to 500. Additionally, the potential cost of shipping directly relates to the freight class of your cargo. In other words, the cost of shipping a load will increase with the freight class. 

It’s Important to Get the Right Freight Class for Different Freight Types

Shippers should make every effort to obtain the proper freight class since it directly affects LTL rates. Incorrect freight class selection by shippers can lead to reclassification and increased shipping costs. 

On the other hand, giving carriers the appropriate freight class can prevent delays and guarantee delivery on time. Simply put, it makes financial and practical sense to classify freight correctly. 

What Factors Determine Freight Class of Specific Commodities?

The NMFC determines freight class by utilizing four factors that outline key characteristics of a shipment:

  • Freight density
  • Freight handling
  • Freight liability
  • Freight stowability

These four elements support the NMFC classification system as a whole and aid in figuring out whether any cargo or freight is transportable.

Freight Density

Freight density is a term used to describe how much room a commodity occupies in the world of LTL shipping and transportation. When shipping LTL, the density of the freight is expressed in pounds per cubic foot, total cubic feet, or cubic feet. This calculation aids in determining the weight of a product in relation to the required trailer space. LTL carriers divide the total cubic feet by the total weight in pounds of a commodity to calculate freight density.

Some goods will have a pre-determined corresponding class and not be based on density. However, some commodities are based on density. The general guideline is as follows:

  • Less densely packed cargo typically has higher freight classes. 
  • Depending on the classification system, cargo with a higher density might be given a lower class.

Freight Handling

Handling plays a significant role in determining how much your LTL shipping costs will cost. Simply put, the cost of an LTL will be lower for cargo and freight that is simpler to handle. However, items that are unusually large, shaped, hard to store, or difficult to handle are more likely to be given a higher class and cost more to ship.

Freight Liability

The risk involved in moving your cargo or the potential expenses of related freight theft or freight claims are referred to as freight liabilities. For instance, cargo with a higher propensity for damage or theft will probably be given a higher freight class. The likelihood that it will cause damage to other cargo and give rise to claims for damaged cargo is another factor in determHazardous, chemically hazardous, or perishable cargo may all raise more questions about liability in terms of freight, which could result in a higher class.

Freight Stowability

The ability of the cargo to be transported with other freight is the fourth important factor that influences freight class. Hazardous, perishable, or flammable cargo will be more challenging for LTL carriers to ship with other cargo, which could raise the cost of shipping. Packaging is one method you can use to make your freight more appealing and stowable. Your cargo may be classified by a transportation company more economically if it is simple to stack.

How Does Freight Classification Impact LTL Shipment Costs?

Lowering your class will make shipping your cargo more affordable in the world of LTL logistics and NMFC classification codes. Simply put, shipments of cargo with a freight class of 50 will be less expensive than those of cargo with a freight class of 500.

What Are NMFC Codes?

Your LTL shipments will each receive a unique NMFC code. The UPC or PLU codes used in retail establishments and the NMFC code are very similar. As a result, each product will receive a unique NMFC code or NMFC number. For instance, engineered wood flooring might be given the NMFC code #37860 while corrugated boxes might be given the NMFC code #29250. Another illustration is a laptop, which might be given the NMFC code 2.5 while electrical cords might be given the NMFC code 65.

Why Are NMFC Codes Important?

NMFC codes are crucial because they inform LTL carriers of how simple or challenging the commodity’s transportation will be. While freight class largely takes density into account, the NMFC codes consider several other factors, such as: 

  • Packaging
  • Commodity type
  • Height, length, and weight
  • Ease of handling
  • Density of freight
  • Value and liability

How Is NMFC Code Related to Freight Class?

Simply put, you can determine how to classify your item based on the NMFC code. While some items can be assigned a class permanently, other cargo may be categorized according to its value, packaging, density, or other characteristics. A product’s class will be determined by the freight’s density if it is density-based. 

Where Can I Access NMFC Codes?

The NMFC classification database contains information about NMFC codes. Continually new information is added to this national database. The NMFC code is significant because it serves as the starting point for determining your freight class.

How to Determine the NMFC Code for an LTL Shipment? 

To find the NMFC code for a specific commodity, you can use an NMFC classification tool. 

  1. Searching for the good inside the tool is the first step. Ensure that your specificity. If you still have trouble, think about entering the commodity in plural form. 
  2. Select the appropriate item NMFC that most closely resembles the cargo you are shipping. 
  3. Utilize a freight calculator to determine the density of your product. You must be aware of the exact dimensions (height, width, length, and weight) of the product. 
  4. Considering your commodity’s density will help you choose the appropriate freight classification.  

Contact CHP Logistics Today

We get it, understanding freight classification, NMFC codes, and supply chain lingo can be difficult. Even frequent LTL shippers may struggle to understand supply chain terminology. Fortunately, you’re not alone when it comes to full truckload or less-than-truckload freight shipping.

At CHP Logistics, we are one of the leading carriers in the New York and New Jersey area. As the premier freight carrier, we offer a full range of logistics services designed to move your cargo from one point to the next and beyond with efficiency and speed. We offer affordable and fast logistics services and freight shipping solutions throughout the United States: 

  • New York City
  • Long Island
  • New Jersey
  • Florida
  • Northeast U.S.
  • Midwest U.S.
  • Southwest U.S. 
  • West Coast 

Regardless of the point of origin or destination, CHP Logistics is your one-stop LTL and FTL carrier solution. 

Contact us today to learn more about NMFC codes or to request a free quote.

Leave A Comment