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Commercial Shipping Crates

What Does Freight Class Mean?

February 26, 2019
Harriet Daniels
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Whenever an item is set to be transported via a LTL truck, a freight class must be assigned and listed on the Bill of Lading. However, figuring out what is a freight class and which one to select for a shipment can present a challenge. Commercial Shipping Crates works closely with shippers to determine the proper freight class.

In short, a freight class is required. There are 18 different freight classes known as National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC). The objective of the freight classes is to provide uniformity based on weight and other factors.

Several factors are used to determine a specific freight class that includes weight or density. The classes range from 50 to 500; with lower freight classes assigned to heavy items. Therefore, the higher freight class of 500 covers a shipment weighing less than a pound; but likely of high value.

Here is a look at the meaning of freight classes and how they work in shipping.

In Shipping What Does Freight Class Mean?

So just what does freight class mean and why is it important? In the shipping world, the freight class helps determine the rate of shipping freight. The intent of the classes is to create a common standard in pricing.

As an example, a container of bulk car parts would likely fit in a lower class than a say a shipment of satellite radios due to the high value and weight. Established by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), the freight classification system uses specifics about the shipment to determine the class.

Freight class is based on:

  •         Weight or volume
  •         Freight handling
  •         Resilience
  •         Liability

The shipper must ensure that an assigned freight class is correct or be held responsible for any errors. In addition, failing to designate a freight class could potentially cost more in the end. The key here is to determine the proper freight class for the shipment in order to complete the required documents. Shortcuts in this phase will jeopardize the shipment.

The uniformity of freight classes puts both the shipper and the carrier on the same page since everything is assigned a code. However, this does not give permission to randomly affix a freight class to obtain a low quote to move the freight. Remember, all freight fits into one of the 18 different categories under the NMFC system.

Freight Class Codes

The codes are set by the NMFC for shippers and carriers for use to compare, negotiate and standardize freight pricing. According to the agency, the four areas that are used to determine the classification establishes what is known as the transportability, or ease of handling, of a commodity. The goal is to simplify the endless amount of goods that are transported daily.

The codes cover freight moving within the same state, crossing state lines and headed to foreign destinations. The NMFC also establishes minimum requirements related to packaging so the shipment is able to be safely transported via LTL.

In addition, the rules governing classification and packaging based on commodities are also outlined, along with how claims are to be handled, ticketing and the Bill of Lading.

The codes begin at Class 50, assigned to freight weighing over 50 pounds and fits on a standard pallet. In the trucking industry, shipments assigned Class 50 is typically considered Clean Freight.

Class 50 requirements:

  •         50 pounds or more
  •         Must be shipped on a pallet
  •         All items must neatly fit on a pallet
  •         Not subject to breaking

Although the guidelines for this freight class are pretty straightforward, shippers should not randomly assign this code to obtain a low price. Freight density and other characteristics are used to calculate freight classification.

The freight classes span from items weighing 50 pounds or more for Class 50 to a shipment tipping the scale at less than a pound to be in Class 500. The lower freight classes typically differ in weight by 5 pounds or less.

Finding the Right Freight Class

Figuring out which of the 18 different classes to designate freight requires a few pieces of information to get started.

The four factors used to determine freight class are:

  1. Density: space an item requires on the truck and along with weight
  2. Stow ability: how well items can be stores based on size, weight or if contains hazardous materials
  3. Handling: freight requiring special handling could be assigned a higher class
  4. Liability: perishable or easily damaged freight is designated in higher freight class.

Commercial Shipping Crates

Once the freight class is established for a shipment, Commercial Shipping Crates ensures the shipment will be protected during transit.

Specializing in an easy to use wooden crate, the products of Commercial Shipping Crates are durable with cost-effective pricing. Our crates meet ISPM-15 Certification for international shipping.

We offer two sizes of commercial shipping crates:

  •         Cube – measures 46 in (length) x 46 in (width) x 47 in (height) | holds up to 2,000 lbs.
  •         Tower - measures 46 in (length) x 46 in (width) x 80 in (height) | holds up to 1,250 lbs.

Decide what size crate will fit your freight and when it will be packed. Then give us a call and we will drop off an empty crate ready for packing. Take a couple of days to get everything packed and ready to go. Our team returns to pick up the crate and deliver it.

It is simple to unlock one of our commercial shipping crates to unpack it; all you need is a flathead screwdriver. Customers have a few days to unpack we return for the empty container. Yes, the crates must be returned to Commercial Crating Services.

The network of service locations throughout the continental United States allows Commercial Shipping Crates to cover a lot of territory. Our team is able to help customers find the right freight class. We provide a quote that will be inclusive of the crate rental fee and freight charges.

Selecting Commercial Shipping Crates, powered by You Crate, offers multiple advantages. Our professional team is ready to help customers with commercial shipping crates to transport freight. The team has more than 60 years of experience in the industry. Call 877-558-2580 to discuss what you need to crate and ship. Customers can also connect with us online.

600 Gillam Rd.,
Wilmington, OH 45177
© Copyright 2019 Commercial Shipping Crates
600 Gillam Rd., Wilmington, OH 45177
© Copyright 2019 Commercial Shipping Crates