The first time I was introduced to the concept of a
freight class was an eye-opener. At the
time, I was responsible for getting all trade show materials to the show site, including
product samples, marketing collateral, and trade show booth. The company where
I worked had a 100,000 sf warehouse, trucks inbound and outbound all week long,
and a guy who managed the warehouse. He was the one that shipped our trade show
When we outgrew our booth and needed a new one, we worked
with a local trade show exhibit company and had them ship our materials to the
show. When our freight invoice arrived after the show, I was floored! It was
considerably more than I was used to paying. That was when I learned about freight
classes. The warehouse guy always shipped our trade show exhibit Class 50,
which is not the correct freight class. It should have been shipped Class 125,
which the trade show company did, resulting in higher shipping charges. My lesson: freight class impacts cost.
Freight class refers to the National Motor Freight
Classification (NMFC) and is the category of your freight as defined by the
National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA). Your shipment’s freight
class determines the carrier’s shipping charges and refers to the size, value
and difficulty of transporting your freight.
Freight classes are designed to standardize pricing,
regardless of what carriers, warehouses and brokers with which you work and is determined
by weight, length and height, density, stowability, ease of handling, value and
liability. There are 18 classes into which a shipment may fall; the lower the product class, the lower the rate per pound. Class 50 rates
are the least expensive and Class 500 rates are the most expensive.
There is a lot of math that goes into freight class
calculations (which we will not cover in depth) but here are some considerations
that go into determining your shipment’s class:
Density: The more compact a product is, based on weight, the less space it will take up in a truck. Bricks are much more dense than ping pong balls, so they take up significantly less room per pound and result in a lower freight classification.
Stowability: Most freight
stows well, but some items cannot be loaded together, like food and
chemicals. Hazardous materials and oversize items also impact
Handling: Freight is
usually loaded with mechanical equipment and creates no handling issues,
but weight, shape, fragility or hazardous properties do require special
Liability: Liability is
determined by the probability of theft or damage, or damage to adjacent
freight. Dynamite has a high amount of liability while books do not.
Here are some examples of products by
It is very important to understand freight classes and ship
your materials correctly. Incorrectly classifying your freight can results in
additional costs, as freight carriers have the right to inspect and reclassify
your shipment. If that happens, guess who pays? You do. It can also slow
delivery of your freight and will cause unneeded headaches.
The bottom line: always correctly identify and classify
Freight classes can be complex and
confusing. For expert assistance on determining your shipment’s freight class,
contact PartnerShip at
800-599-2902 or find your freight
class online. The freight experts at PartnerShip are here to help!
Tips for Avoiding Freight Reweighs and Reclassifications
12/11/2014 — Matt Nagel
Efficiently managing your freight costs is key to keeping your bottom line in tip-top shape. One of the more common ways your freight costs increase is by the reweighing or reclassification of your freight. Carriers have the right to inspect your shipment if they deem necessary and these incidents can trip up even the most experienced shippers.
When it comes to avoiding reweighs and reclassifications, the best defense is a good offense. Doing your homework on best practices for shipping your freight and closely following these practices will give your freight the best chance of getting to it’s destination without being hit with unexpected charges.
Below we have some points of emphasis to remember before
shipping your freight:
We know determining your freight class is one of the more
cumbersome aspects of freight shipping, and that's why we've developed an
entire ePaper on
the subject, and a helpful Find Your
Freight Class' tool for our customers. We ask a few simple questions about
your commodity and point you in the right direction.
Stay up-to-date on
industry changes: Like any industry, the freight industry is constantly
changing and adapting. For example, NMFC changes evolve to accurately reflect
a commodity's “transportability.” The NMFTA will post any changes on their website - regularly reviewing
these types of resources will keep you in the know on the important changes
that affect your freight.
Pay close attention
to your shipment’s weight: Obviously very important to not being hit with a
reweigh is getting it right the first time.
All weights on the BOL should be exact weights, not
Remember to include the weight of the pallet and other packaging
in the final total weight
Have your scales tested and calibrated often – we would
recommend annually, but there’s no harm in more frequent fine tuning.
Work with an
experienced partner you can trust: Even after doing your homework and following
guidelines, the freight industry can be a complicated world to
with a 3PL partner like PartnerShip allows you focus on your company and us to focus on the freight. We have a team of dedicated freight specialists that can
guide you to provide accurate shipment information that will avoid reweighs and
reclassifications. As a free service, we even audit your freight bills for
errors or unnecessary charges that sometimes arise, and we have the industry
knowledge to fight to correct any discrepancies.
Keeping the above tips and advice
in mind when shipping your freight will help you stay ahead of the curve and
eliminate any unwanted billing surprises. If you have additional questions about reweighs or reclassifications, or would like to learn more about PartnerShip, contact us today at 800-599-2902 or email sales@PartnerShip.com.
NMFC Changes That Could Affect Freight Shipping Rates
04/05/2012 — Scott Frederick
The National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) is a standard for thousands of commodities likely to be shipped by carriers who agree to use this system. Factors such as weight, item type, dimensions, density, and valuation, among others, are used to determine the NMFC. The NMFC identifies what you are shipping and its freight class, which ultimately affects your freight shipping rates.
Frequent freight shippers and users of the NMFC will want to take note of some changes to the classification system – which will be effective April 14, 2012:
AUTO BODY PARTS – MOVING TO A FULL SCALE DENSITY ITEM
NEW ITEM FOR FLAMMABLE SOLID, SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTIBLE OR DANGEROUS WHEN WET MATERIALS
TO INCLUDE THEATER CHAIRS, REVOLVING CHAIRS AND STOOLS-FULL SCALE DENSITY ITEM. CANCELLING ITEMS 80640 AND 80700
STONE BLOCKS – ON RACKS (AS A-FRAMES) CLASS 150, SHIPPED FLAT CLASS 55
WILL INCLUDE LAMPS, ARTIFICIAL SUNLIGHT, HEATING OR THERAPEUTIC – FULL SCALE DENSITY ITEM. CANCELLING 109460
AIR HEATERS – GOING TO A 3 TIER DENSITY
TO INCLUDE ALL SINKS – FULL SCALE DENSITY – CANCELLING ALL LAVATORY SINKS AND SINK ITEMS.
As always, PartnerShip is here to help you determine your commodity's NMFC. Contact us at 800-599-2902 or email select@PartnerShip.com with any questions. Our freight experts stand ready to help you with your freight shipping or to provide you with LTL freight quotes if needed.