top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The NMCF

The National Motor Freight Classification Number NMFC #’s , are standards that provide a comparison of commodities moving in interstate, intrastate and foreign transport as defined by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) and made available through the NMFC or National Motor Freight


 Based on an evaluation of density, stowability, ease of handling and liability, the commodities are grouped into one of 18 classes.


The NMFC provides both carriers and shippers with a standard by which to begin negotiations and greatly simplify the comparative evaluation of the many thousands of products

moving in today’s marketplace.

What is an NMFC or Item No

Each product or item to be shipped is identified with a unique number, call the NMFC or Item No. Item Number may also have sub groups or sub provision where the same NMFC or Item No. has multiple Freight Classes based on density, packaging requirements or other relevant information.

Application of Provisions

To be applicable, a commodity description must “match” the product that is being shipped. In many cases, more than one description can apply to a given product. In such instances, you must review the potential descriptions and apply the one that most specifically describes the article in question.


Some commodity descriptions are very specific and limit their application to particular products, such as commodities of a particular material construction, or commodities in a particular form of shipment, i.e., set up (SU) or knocked down (KD).


Other descriptions are general, usually referred to as “NOI” (not more specifically described herein) provisions, and embrace broad groups of commodities. For example, since

no specific description exists for “plastic bottles,” the provisions of item 156600, naming “Plastic Articles, NOI, other than expanded,” apply.

What is a Freight Class?

Freight classes are designed to help you get common standardized freight pricing for your shipment when working with different carriers, warehouses and brokers.

Freight classes are defined by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) and made available through the NMFC or National Motor Freight Classification. In the United States, each commodity or type of product is assigned a National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) and corresponding class for less than truckload (LTL) freight shipments.

The (NMFC) system is a standardized method designed to give consumers a uniform pricing structure when transporting freight.


There are 18 classes that a shipped package may fall under with class 50 being the least expensive, to class 500 as the most expensive. The number assigned to an item is important to

freight carriers in determining the tariffs, which in turn determine the price charged to the customer.

What Factors Go into Determining Freight Class?

Before you determine your freight class for your shipment, you must identify certain factors about your

specific freight. Freight class is based on weight, length and height, density, ease of handling, value and

liability from things like theft, damage, break-ability and spoilage.. The definitions for each are as follows:

  •  (Weight, Length, Height) Density and Value: Density guidelines assign classification 50 to freight

that weighs 50 pounds per cubic foot.


The Commodity Classification Standards Board (CCSB) assigns

classifications 70, 92.5, 175 and 400 to freight with densities of 15, 10.5, 5, and 1 pound per cubic foot, respectively. Freight less dense than 1 pound per cubic foot is classified as 500. The density is the space the item occupies in relation to its weight. The density is calculated by dividing the weight of the item in pounds by its volume in cubic feet. Your item’s volume in cubic feet is Length x Width x Height/1,728, where all dimensions are measured in inches.


The density of your item = Weight/Volume, where Weight is measured in pounds and Volume is measured in cubic feet.

  •  Stow-ability: Most freight stows well in trucks, trains and boats, but some articles are regulated by the

government or carrier policies. Some items cannot be loaded together. Hazardous materials are

transported in specific manners. Excessive weight, length or protrusions can make freight impossible to

load with other freight. The absence of load-bearing surfaces makes freight impossible to stack. A

quantifiable stow-ability classification represents the difficulty in loading and carrying these items.

  • Handling: Most freight is loaded with mechanical equipment and poses no handling difficulties, but

some freight, due to weight, shape, fragility or hazardous properties, requires special attention. A

classification that represents ease or difficulty of loading and carrying the freight is assigned to the items.

  • Liability: Liability is probability of freight theft or damage, or damage to adjacent freight.

Perishable cargo or cargo prone to spontaneous combustion or explosion is classified based on liability

and assigned a value per pound, which is a fraction of the carrier’s liability. When classification is based

on liability, density must also be considered.

What are the 18 Different Types of Freight Class? Class Name Cost Notes, Examples Weight Range Per Cubic Foot


  • Class 50 Lowest Cost/LB Fits on standard shrink-wrapped 4X4 pallet, very durable over 50 lbs

  • Class 55 Bricks, cement, mortar, hardwood flooring 35-50 pounds Class 60 Car accessories & car parts 30-35 pounds

  • Class 65 Car accessories & car parts, bottled beverages, books in boxes 22.5-30 pounds

  • Class 70 Car accessories & car parts, food items, automobile engines 15 to 22.5 pounds

  • Class 77.5 Tires, bathroom fixtures 13.5 to 15 pounds

  • Class 85 Crated machinery, cast iron stoves 12-13.5 pounds Class 92.5 Computers, monitors, refridgerators 10.5-12 pounds

  • Class 100 boat covers, car covers, canvase, wine cases, caskets 9-10.5 pounds

  • Class 110 cabinets, framed artwork, tablesaw 8-9 pounds

  • Class 125 Small Household appliances 7-8 pounds

  • Class 175 Clothing, couches stuffed furniture 5-6 pounds

  • Class 200 Auto sheetmetal parts, aircraft parts, aluminum table, packaged matresses, 4-5 pounds

  • Class 250 Bamboo furniture, mattress and boxspring, plasma tv 3-4 pounds

  • Class 300 wood cabinets, tables, chairs setup, model boats 2-3 pounds Class

  • 400 Deer antlers 1-2 pounds

  • Class 500 – Low Density or High Value Highest Cost/LB Bags of gold dust, ping pong balls Less than 1 lb

bottom of page