You are currently viewing What is a freight shipping class, and how can you determine it?

What is a freight shipping class, and how can you determine it?

Consistently classifying freight in a way that is both cost-effective and personalised is no easy undertaking. But it is doable if you have a specific level of industry expertise and reliable carrier ties. 

This post is all about delving into the nitty-gritty of freight shipping class, including how you can determine it. A clear understanding of freight classes will help clients save time and money. 

What is a freight shipping class?

A standard and grouping system for the shipping industry called freight class, or NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification), was created by the nonprofit National Motor Freight Traffic Association. It is used for LTL (less than truckload) freight movements in interstate, intrastate, and international trade.

Need for Freight Classes

The goal of NMFC is to compare commodities uniformly for the purpose of identifying and categorising goods. In today’s fiercely competitive global market, this is essential for streamlining comparative analyses of the billions of various products shipped each year. This system aids in easy and fruitful freight pricing discussions and logistics by giving shippers and carriers a clear point of agreement.

How to Determine the Transportability Metrics

The freight class explains a product’s general “transportability.” LTL freight can be categorised into 18 different groups, from low (50) to high (500). Freight that is compact, durable, and easy to handle will be given a low classification. A higher ranking will be given to cargo that is particularly vulnerable to theft or damage. A key generalisation to remember is that the higher the goods class, the lower the density.

The following four key metrics are used to determine transportability:


Density, as used in shipping, is the amount of space an object takes up in relation to its weight. To categorise the products into different groups, the density of the products is measured. Freight that weighs more than 50 pounds per cubic foot is given the lowest class, or Class 50. At the other end of the range, in class 500, we find freight that is less dense than 1 lb per cubic foot.

2.Handling Ease

The majority of freight is easy to load and unload, especially when this work is frequently delegated to machinery. However, some goods are restricted by limitations brought on by abnormalities in weight and/or shape, extreme fragility, or hazardous qualities. These kinds of limitations can require a modification in the classification of the goods. 


When leveraging accountability, a higher risk of theft or unintentional damage is taken into account. For example, there may be liability issues and costs associated with perishable goods and toxic chemicals.


Certain carrier policies or governmental regulations may apply to certain types of goods. Freight class makes an effort to measure relative stowability in order to indicate how simple or complex it is to move different types of freight. 

How to determine the appropriate freight class

1: The dimensions of your shipment include length, breadth, and height. Keep in mind that the actual shipment is included in this measurement, along with the pallets and other packing. To the next inch, round up. For shipping with several components or pallets, you must repeat this procedure. 

2: The measurements you just took for height, breadth, and length should be multiplied. You are then given the shipment’s total cubic inches. To convert this amount from cubic inches to cubic feet, multiply it by 1,728. If you have multiple pieces, multiply the sum of their lengths, widths, and heights. To determine the total, add the cubic measures for each individual item, then convert to cubic feet if necessary. 

3: Determine the shipment’s weight in pounds. To calculate the density, or pounds per cubic foot, divide the shipment’s total weight by its total cubic feet. Divide the total cubic feet by the sum of the weights of all the components, if there are several pieces. 

4: After obtaining the freight density, select the appropriate freight class using the LTL freight class chart. 

Want to know about your freight class? Our experts at Tekipost  are here to assist you in determining it. To learn more, please feel free to contact us. 

Leave a Reply