To calculate freight class codes helps you determine which NMFC class your shipment falls under. This helps you better estimate your freight shipping costs. There are a couple of important details to keep in mind when preparing your shipment in order to appropriately classify your shipment, which will ultimately help your bottom line.


Why Calculating Your Freight Class is Important

Freight class codes, also known as National Motor Freight Class (NMFC) codes, are a set of standardized freight pricing that insures control in the freight industry. These are important to consider if you are shipping freight that is less-than-truckload (LTL). These codes determine “transportability” and, therefore, are directly related to the price you will pay for your shipment.


Freight class is determined by 4 major factors:

Stowability – how well your freight can be shipped with other items. Is it perishable, flammable, or hazardous? If so, regulations differ and it may not be able to be shipped with other materials. Is your freight stackable? That would make it easier to stow inside a cargo container or truck and easier to ship with other people’s freight.

Liability – Does your freight have a high value? If so, there may be increased concerns of the chance of damage and/or theft. This could also pose a risk to freight that is in transit along with the high value commodity. The freight class could be higher if you are shipping freight that poses a big risk.

Ease of Handling – How easy is it to handle your freight? Does it have any extra requirements? Is it fragile or hazardous? If your item(s) need special attention it will result in a higher freight class.

Density – Measured by pound per cubic foot, this is the measurable amount of space your freight takes up. It is actually the main factor that determines your freight class code and ultimately your freight shipping cost. Shipments that are compact with a higher density will be lower and cost less than items that are bulkier. You can easily calculate your freight density to estimate your freight class and get an idea of you freight shipment costs.


Here is how to Calculate Freight Class

Follow these steps to calculate freight class:

Step 1. Measure the height, width, and depth of the shipment in inches. Measure to the farthest points, including skids or other packaging. On shipments with multiple pieces, repeat Step 1 for each piece.


Step 2. Multiply the three measurements (height x width x depth). The result is the total cubic inches of the shipment. If you have multiple pieces, multiply the height x width x depth for each piece. Take the results for each piece and add them together to get the total cubic inches


Step 3. Divide the total cubic inches by 1,728 (the number of cubic inches in a cubic foot). The result is the cubic feet of the shipment.


Step 4. Divide the weight (in pounds) of the shipment by the total cubic feet. The result is the pounds per cubic foot, i.e., density.

  • For multiple pieces, add the weight of each piece together before dividing by the total cubic feet of the shipment.


Next, take the freight density that you calculated and estimate the freight shipping class using the table below. Remember, this number is just an estimate. The freight forwarding experts at Mach 1 Global Services will confirm your exact freight shipping class code.


NMFC Class Codes


How to Save on Freight Class Shipping Charges

 Are you using a crate or pallet for your shipment? When calculating the weight of your shipment, you should also factor the weight of the packaging. For instance, an engine that is crated has an NMFC class code 70, while an engine that is palleted has a class code 85. The packaging you use for freight shipping could greatly effect your final weight, which would effect your shipping class code and final cost.


Properly classify what you’re shipping. Different items have very different classifications through NMFC. For instance, an engine and a rollercoaster part are both machines, but the rollercoaster part is considered NOI, or not otherwise indexed. The experts at Mach 1 Global Services can help you accurately classify your items and save unnecessary costs due to classification errors.


Keep your dimensional weight low. As stated above, density is the main factor that is considered during freight shipping. Density considers two factors: dimensional weight and actual weight. Dimensional weight will determine how much space your shipment takes up in the truck or shipping container. It is ideal for the dimensional weight to be smaller than the actual weight. This means that your shipment will take up less space on the truck, which results in a lower freight classification and cost savings.


Mach 1 Global Services can simplify the shipping process for you and make sure that your shipping class codes are correct to prevent unnecessary costs. To learn more about how Mach 1 can be your logistics provider, visit our page on supply chain and logistics. Ready to ship? Click HERE to plan your shipment today.


Ready to ship?

Get started with Mach 1 Global Services today!