Kicking the Habit
“…Since the 1930s, the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) system has grouped commodities into 18 classes ranging from 50 to 500 based on a product’s density, stow-ability, handling, and liability characteristics. Dimensional pricing, broadly used outside of North America, uses the weight and volume of cargo to determine rates instead… It’s time to wean the LTL industry off the NMFC model. Going cold turkey is not working.”
How to calculate freight class
To determine dimensional freight classification, calculate the density of the shipment and refer to the freight classification table.
1. Measure Shipment: Measure the length, width, and height of your shipment. Be sure to use the longest, widest, and tallest parts of the shipment (including the pallet) when measuring.
2. Calculate Volume: Multiply the length, width, and height values together. This will give the total cubic inches (or feet, depending on unit of measurement). If you measured in inches, divide this result by 1,728 (number of cubic inches in a cubic foot) to get volume in cubic feet.
3. Calculate Density: Divide the weight in lbs. by the volume (calculated in step 2) in cubic feet to get the shipment's density. Using the density, refer to the freight classification table to find the shipment's freight class.
Freight Classification Table
|Class||Density Range||Density Low||Density High|
|50||50 +||50||> 50|
|55||35 - 49.99||35||49.99|
|60||30 - 34.99||30||34.99|
|65||22.5 - 29.99||22.5||29.99|
|70||15 - 22.49||15||22.49|
|77.5||13.5 - 14.99||13.5||19.99|
|85||12 - 13.49||12||13.49|
|92.5||10.5 - 11.99||10.5||11.99|
|100||9 - 10.49||9||10.49|
|110||8 - 8.99||8||8.99|
|125||7 - 7.99||7||7.99|
|150||6 - 6.99||6||6.99|
|175||5 - 5.99||5||5.99|
|200||4 - 4.99||4||4.99|
|250||3 - 3.99||3||3.99|
|300||2 - 2.99||2||2.99|
|400||1 - 1.99||1||1.99|
|500||< 1||< .99||0.99|
In the current NMFC model, this shipment comes in at a freight classification of 50 based on what the product is, disregarding all the empty space it will take up during transportation. Using dimensional based pricing, the box alone would rate at a freight class of 70 (12"x12"x26" 45lbs), and strapped on the much larger pallet (40"x48"x4") the freight class jumps up to 400! This dimensional based model will promote shippers taking more care in the way they build their shipments and stop carriers from having to take up unnecessary space in their trucks that they aren't being compensated for.