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What LTL Shippers Need To Know To Prepare For Changes To The National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC)

Freight Classification

On June 5, 2020, The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) announced multiple changes to the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC), which go into effect on August 8, 2020. These changes modify existing freight classification across product groups ranging from foodstuffs and furniture to chemicals and building materials. For Less-than-truckload (LTL) shippers, understanding freight classification and the modifications to the NMFC presented in the NMFTA’s Notice of Disposition is essential to ensure your freight arrives on-time and in-budget.

To help LTL shippers navigate the complicated details of freight classification, our team of LTL shipping experts created a free downloadable Master Guide for Calculating Freight Class. Within this guide, shippers will learn the nuts and bolts of freight class, the role freight class plays in LTL shipping, and the 18 different types of freight class. By reading the Master Guide for Calculating Freight Class, shippers will save their organization time and money, confidently calculate freight class, and utilize density-based classification.

Changes To Freight Class Effective August 8, 2020

The changes made to the Freight Class System range from the removal of products, a combination of product groups, and the addition of multiple items with new freight classes.

Below are examples of changes made to freight classification by product group:

Athletic Goods Group:  

  • Item 15520, which includes boards, water sports (bodyboards, kickboards, kneeboards, paddleboards, sailboards with or without sails, or surfboards) and not otherwise indicated (NOI) in boxes or crates and now have an 11-tiered class/density breakdown:
    Sub 1 Less than 1 lb. per cubic foot 400
    Sub 2 1 lb. per cubic foot but less than 2 lbs. per cubic foot 300
    Sub 3 2 lbs. per cubic foot but less than 4 lbs. per cubic foot 250
    Sub 4 4 lbs. per cubic foot but less than 6 lbs. per cubic foot 175
    Sub 5 6 lbs. per cubic foot but less than 8 lbs. per cubic foot 125
    Sub 6 8 lbs. per cubic foot but less than 10 lbs. per cubic foot 100
    Sub 7 10 lbs. per cubic foot but less than 12 lbs. per cubic foot 92.5
    Sub 8 12 lbs. per cubic foot but less than 15 lbs. per cubic foot 85
    Sub 9 15 lbs. per cubic foot but less than 22.5 lbs. per cubic foot 70
    Sub 10 22.5 lbs. per cubic foot but less than 30 lbs. per cubic foot 65
    Sub 11 1 lbs. per cubic foot or greater 60
  • Item 24650, boats or boat section, with or without power installed, is canceled with items 24650 and 24670 added as a replacement.
  • Item 24650, includes boats that are inflatable, deflated, with or without rigid hull or deck, boats, catamarans, kayaks, lifeboats, life rafts, or rescue boats.
  • Items 24651 and 24652 include pedal boats and rigid inflatable boats.
  • New item 24670 boats or boat sections; boards, water sports.
  • Item 25095, personal watercraft, was revised to reflect an increase in freight classification from 150 to 175.

Building Materials Group: 

  • Item 34265, doors, are amended to include mirrored doors and the classification/density groups modified.
  • Item 34330, mirrored doors, is canceled.

Box Group: 

  • Item 29785, boxes or cartons, fiberboard, or paperboard is added, which cancels the following items: 28920, 29205, 29240, 29250, 29285, 29400.

Boilers, Furnaces and Stoves Group: 

  • Boilers, grills, roasters, or stoves that are outdoor cooking and gas-burning was added as a new item 25865 with a three-tiered density/class breakdown:
    Sub 1 Less than 6 lbs. per cubic foot Class 200
    Sub 2 6 lbs. per cubic foot but less than 10 lbs. per cubic foot Class 125
    Sub 3 10 lbs. per cubic foot or greater Class 85

In addition to these changes, the Foodstuffs group underwent extensive changes in freight classification:

  • Cocktail mixes or mixers were added as new item, 72510, with a class of 65.
  • Prepared coconut was added as a new item, 72560, with a class of 70.
  • Item 73227, frozen foodstuffs, now excludes products that were made into new items.
  • Honey was added as a new item, 73450, with a class of 60.
  • Non-medicated molasses and syrups, such as agave syrup, beverage or fountain syrup, flavoring syrup, and maple syrup, were added as item 7409 with a freight class of 65.
  • Prepared foods (bouillon, broths, or cooking stock; pasta or noodles, quinoa; rice, soups, or soup mixes, including chowders; stews, including chili) was added as item 74495 with the following four-tiered density/class breakdown:
    Sub 1 Less than 8 lbs. per cubic foot Class 175
    Sub 2 8 lbs. per cubic foot but less than 12 lbs. per cubic foot Class 100
    Sub 3 12 lbs. per cubic foot but less than 22.5 lbs. per cubic foot Class 70
    Sub 4 22.5 lbs. per cubic foot or greater Class 70

How Shippers Can Prepare for the Upcoming Changes to Freight Class:

Understanding and correctly determining freight class is critical for shippers who want to maintain margins and ensure on-time delivery.  While changes to the NMFC are inevitable, shippers who firmly grasp freight classification will smoothly integrate these variances into their freight class calculations while saving time and money for their organization. Resources, such as GlobalTranz’s blog How To Calculate Freight Class: Get Your Printable How To Guide, and GlobalTranz’s free downloadable Master Guide for Calculating Freight Class, provide you the insights you need to confidently calculate freight class, keep your freight costs down, and boost your bottom line.

Shippers do not need to tackle the freight classification process on their own.  Partnering with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) like GlobalTranz can alleviate the stress of freight classification. Our team of LTL shipping experts has mastered the nuances of freight class and will assign your freight the appropriate freight class while avoiding costly misclassification.

Please contact us and put our expertise to work for you.

Calculating Freight Class

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