Products' shipping is a significant industry, and correctly classifying your freight is critical to ensure timely and safe delivery.
The freight class you choose for your shipment depends on the weight and dimensions of your cargo, along with the type of goods you are shipping.
What is freight class? Freight class is a classification used to identify the type of goods being transported. The freight class will determine the transportation price and the level of service provided.
It is essential to understand what freight class you are shipping under because it can affect your bottom line.
Freight Classes and What Falls Under Them
There are several kinds of freight classes, and the most common ones are listed below:
Class 100: Items like envelopes, documents, and lightweight packages that weigh less than 100 pounds fall under this class.
Class 200: This is for shipments that weigh between 101 and 500 pounds. You'll find goods like small appliances and furniture within this class.
Class 300: Heavier items like machinery, construction materials, and vehicles weighing between 500-1500 pounds fall under Class 300.
Class 400: The most common item in this class is bulk cargo, weighing more than 1500 pounds.
Class 500: This is for heavier shipments of more than 15,000 pounds. This category fits items like hazardous materials, live animals, and large machinery.
Several additional criteria that influence freight class apart from weight including, the package's size, the sort of goods being carried, and even how it is packed, all play a part in what freight class is assigned.
What is an NMFC Code?
The National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) classifies goods for shipment. Any item that can be shipped is assigned an NMFC code; for example, the machinery NMFC code is 70, the lumber NMFC code is 24, and the frozen food NMFC code is 48.
NMFC codes are necessary because they determine a good's freight class. The higher the NMFC code, the higher the freight class.
How to Find Your NMFC Code?
You can find the NMFC code on the bill of lading, shipping order, or invoice. It is also listed on the product's packaging.
Factors Determining Freight Class:
Freight classes are assigned by several criteria, including:
- Weight - How heavy is the item?
- Density: How much space does the item take up?
- Unitization: How is the item packaged?
- Location - Is the item being shipped domestically or internationally?
- Mode of Transport - What type of shipping is used (LTL, truckload, parcel)?
- Size: What are the dimensions of the package?
- Liability: How likely is it that the item will damage in transit?
- Hazardous Materials: Does the shipment include any hazardous materials?
The weight of a shipment is the most significant factor to consider when determining freight class. Heavier loads will generally fall into a higher freight class than lighter ones. However, you must consider other factors as well.
For example, if you are shipping something significant in size but light in weight, it may still fall into a lower freight class because of its size.
Conversely, if you're shipping something small but heavy, it may fall into a higher freight class because of its weight.
Another critical factor to consider is the liability of the shipment. If you are shipping something considered high-risk or dangerous, it will likely fall into a higher freight class.
For example, shipments containing hazardous materials or perishable items often have a higher freight class than other types of cargo.
Freight Classes: How Do They Work?
The Freight class is determined by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), which aims to standardize freight costs. The NMFTA created freight classes to enable shippers to compare pricing among carriers.
There are 18 different freight classes, and each one has its own set of rates. The higher the freight class, the higher the cost to ship. The lowest and the cheapest freight class is Class 50, and the most expensive is Class 500.
Why is Freight Class Important?
Freight class is essential because it can impact the cost of shipping your goods. The higher the freight class, the more it will cost to ship your goods. That is why it's crucial to ensure you're using the correct freight class for your shipment.
How Can I Lower My Freight Class?
Under certain circumstances, there may be a possibility to reduce your freight class by using less packaging or combining shipments.
Opting for a carrier that offers discounted rates for particular freight classes may save money on shipping expenses.
Does Mode of Transport Affect Freight Class?
Your mode of transportation can also have an impact on your freight classification. Ground shipments, for example, will have a lower freight class than aircraft delivery. LTL, truckload, air cargo, sea container shipping, and rail are modes of transportation utilized in transactions.
Advantages of Freight Class - The Hype!
There are a few benefits to using the freight class when transporting products. Let's take a look at them one by one.
1. Saves Money:
First, it can help you save money on shipping costs. By using a higher freight class, you may get a discount from the carrier because your shipment is more valuable.
2. Time Savings:
Second, it can save you time. When your shipment classifies as a higher freight class, the carrier knows it needs careful handling.
It means that they will take extra precautions when loading and unloading your goods, which can speed up the process.
3. Reduces Damage:
Third, using a higher freight class can help reduce damage to your goods. The carrier knows that these shipments are essential and need to be handled with care.
They will take measures to ensure that your goods arrive at their destination safe and sound.
So there you have it! By using freight class, you can save money, time, and damage to your goods. It's something worth considering when shipping your products.
Freight classes also help ensure that your goods are delivered on time and in your expected condition. However, make sure you get the freight class right - it can make all the difference in your shipment.