Freight Class Explanation

Shipments that are sent as LTL (less-than-truckload) are typically rated per hundred pounds and fall into a class range between 50 to 500. There are a total of 18 classes and each is used in determining the rate where a corresponding relationship exists; the lower the class the less the rate and vice versa. More dense items such as steel and machinery have low freight classifications (50 through 85). Fragile or bulky items (typically fall into freight classes 125 to 500) and cost more to ship.

The NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification) determines the class for every product and is the standard that all major carriers use when determining a product's class. When determining the class of a product, NMFC uses four characteristics: Density, Stowability, Handling and Liability.

A significant amount of class applications require the density to determine the actual class. This is done by multiplying the height, width and length in inches and then dividing by 1728 to determine the cubic footage. Take the weight then divide the cubic footage into it to determine the PCF (pounds per cubic foot). If you need assistance with calculating the density of your items, please feel free to use our density calculator.

Have you been getting hit with re-classes, re-weighs or W&I violations? We can help reduce the associated costs. Our experienced freight class and NMFC experts will assist with determining the reasons for your re-classes or re-weighs. We’ll help you implement best practices for quoting and booking all freight shipments in the future. Learn More

Looking for more in-depth information on LTL freight classes, including freight bumping and density class guidelines? Visit our LTL FAQs page to learn more.