What is Your Shipment’s NMFC Code?
NMFC codes can be confusing, but they’re also very helpful in determining how much it should cost to ship your freight and determine any tariffs that may need to be paid upon interstate, intrastate, or international shipping. Here, you’ll find a quick run-down on these helpful little codes.
What is an NMFC Code?
An NMFC code is a number assigned to shipments that helps group or grade the freight to be shipped. The National Motor Freight Traffic Association developed these ratings in an effort to help standardize shipping and tariff rates. There are 18 different ratings between 50 and 500.
Freight classed in the lower classes tends to be less valuable, more durable, and easier to move all around and is therefore frequently less expensive to ship. Freight in the higher classes require special handling such as climate control or special packing or loading techniques to help reduce shipment damage. Higher class freight generally costs more to ship.
How are NMFC Codes Determined?
Four different factors are taken into account when determining the NMFC code of a load:
Density refers to the space freight takes up relative to its weight. Handling refers to how easy (or difficult) freight is to handle. Stowability refers to how easy freight is to get on a trailer. For instance, hazardous materials and bulky or extremely heavy freight are more difficult to load and haul. Liability covers whether freight is fragile or perishable, requiring special care to get it to its destination intact.
How Do NMFC Codes Impact Your Shipment?
The implications of your load’s NMFC code is two-fold. The classification of a shipment provides insight into the tariffs associated with the load from a government standpoint and the shipping rates you’ll be charged.
Carriers are able to determine how much it will cost them and therefore how much they should charge to haul a load based on these codes.
Freight codes are also used when an insurance claim is made on freight or a company is seeking to recover damages from a carrier.
If you need help classifying freight, you can contact the NMFTA’s classification experts. If you’re wondering what NMFC codes mean for your business, contact BlueGrace for a free supply chain audit by one of our experts.