Freight class is a classification guide for shipping items. Every shipment a company makes is assigned to a certain class that determines the difficulty your goods are to ship. Freight class was started by NMFTA which is The National Motor Freight Traffic Association. There are 18 different classes which are numbered between 50 and 500 and they are all documented in he National Motor Freight Classification tariff which is most commonly known as the NMFC.
Freight class is determined by a few important factors. The density of your items being shipped is one part of the classification. The density is the weight per cubic foot that your package. The class is also determined by the stowability, easy of handling, and liability of your items. If your items are susceptible to damage and light in weight, they will be more expensive then items that are heavy and not easily damaged.
Finding your class is a very simply process. When trying to determine your freight classification you first need to know the length, width, height, and weight of your shipment. When measuring your package, be sure to get the exact dimensions so you can chose the correct freight classification for your item. Once you have all the dimensions of your package, it's very simply to figure out the freight class. There are many free tools online that will calculate the class for you.
Whether to you use the calculator or calculate it yourself, your freight class will be a number between 50 and 500. There are eighteen classes that are class 55, class 60, class 65, class 70, class 77.5, class 92.5, class 100, class 110, class 125, class 150, class 200, class 250, class 300, class 400, and class 500. Usually, the higher the class; the higher the rate for every 100 pounds you are shipping. It also depends on distance, weight, density, value of items, and a few other characteristics.
It is also important to remember to make sure you are 100% positive you have the right class because if you make a miscalculation you can be charge extra amounts from the carrier.