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Freight Class Guide

Why Is Freight Class Important?

Freight class for LTL shipping is important because it allows shippers to classify freight in a standardized manner. This makes for fairer pricing throughout the industry because it means shipping companies must price freight based on the same criteria. Also, consumers can better compare costs between shipping companies when they know their freight class codes. It is important that your classification is determined before getting a quote for your shipment. If you request a quote with the wrong classification, the shipper will have to recalculate it for you, which can result in higher shipping costs than you anticipated. Use our guide to help figure out how to determine your freight class.

How to Determine Freight Class

As mentioned in our Freight Shipping Guide, your freight classification is determined by transportability which is defined by the density, stowability, ease of handling and liability of the cargo. While the classification of many items can be determined based on their density, some others will always be in the same freight class no matter what. One such item is a transmission (class 85).

To calculate the density of your freight, measure the length, width and height of your freight in its packaging (in inches). Multiply these three measurements. Then, to determine the cubic feet, divide this number by 1,728 (the number of cubic inches in a cubic foot). Once you know the cubic feet, divide the weight of your freight in pounds by the total cubic feet. This will give you the density of your freight. Once you have determined the density of your freight, use the list below to help determine the classification of your freight.

How to measure freightCalculate Freight Density:

  1. L x W x H = # inches3
  2. # inches3 x 1,728 = feet3
  3. # feet3 x weight in lbs = freight density

Freight Class Codes List*

Freight Class CodeType of FreightWeight per ft3 (in lbs)
50Fits on a standard 4×4 pallet, durable freight50 +
55Bricks, cement, hardwood, construction materials35-50
60Auto accessories, car parts30-35
65Car accessories & parts, boxed books, bottled drinks22.5-30
70Car accessories & parts, auto engines, food items15-22.5
77.5Tires, bathroom fixtures13.5-15
85Crated machinery, cast iron stoves12-13.5
92.5Computers, monitors, refrigerators10.5-12
100Car covers, canvas, boat covers, wine cases, caskets9-10.5
110Cabinets, framed art, table saws8-9
125Small home appliances7-8
150Auto sheet metal, book cases6-7
175Clothing, stuffed furniture5-6
200Sheet metal parts, aluminum tables, packaged mattresses, aircraft parts4-5
250Mattresses & box springs, plasma TVs, bamboo furniture3-4
300Model boats, assembled chairs, tables, wood cabinets2-3
400Deer antlers1-2
500Gold dust, pin pong balls<1
*Freight classes set by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc.Example freight class codes

Things to Keep in Mind

Determining the right freight classification is obviously a bit complicated, with objects you never thought would be grouped together ending up in the same category. Also, once you have determined the classification of certain goods that you ship regularly, be aware that the NMFTA can update their database and change certain classifications at any time.

If you’re looking to make a freight shipment, then contact Global Shipping Services today and speak with one of our knowledgeable freight brokers. We can answer any of your questions regarding freight class code and make sure your shipment arrives where it needs to be on budget and on time. You can also contact the NMFTA for help interpreting your shipping freight class. If your item has been manufactured elsewhere, the manufacturer should also know the product’s classification.


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