NMFC Codes

The National Motor Freight Classification®

The Standard for Freight Identification and Classification

The National Motor Freight Classification® (NMFC®) is a standard that provides a comparison of commodities moving in interstate, intrastate and foreign commerce. It is similar in concept to the groupings or grading systems that serve many other industries. Commodities are grouped into one of 18 classes—from a low of class 50 to a high of class 500—based on an evaluation of four transportation characteristics: density, handling, stowability and liability. Together, these characteristics establish a commodity’s “transportability.”

By analyzing commodities on the basis of the four transportation characteristics and ONLY on the basis of those characteristics, the NMFC provides both carriers and shippers with a standard by which to begin negotiations and greatly simplifies the comparative evaluation of the many thousands of products moving in today’s competitive marketplace.

The Standard for Packaging, Rules and Bills of Lading

The NMFC specifies minimum packaging requirements to ensure that goods are adequately protected and can be handled and stowed in a manner that is reasonably safe and practicable so as to withstand the normal rigors of the less-than-truckload environment. It contains various rules that govern and otherwise relate to the classification and/or packaging of commodities as well as procedures for the filing and disposition of claims, and procedures governing interline settlements. It also contains the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading, including its Terms and Conditions.

The National Motor Freight Classification is a comprehensive, invaluable resource for transportation and packaging professionals. 

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

Class NameCostNotes, ExamplesWeight Range Per Cubic Foot
Class 50 – Clean FreightLow ↓ CostFits on standard shrink-wrapped 4X4 pallet, very durableover 50 lbs
Class 55Bricks, cement, mortar, hardwood flooring35-50 pounds
Class 60Car accessories & car parts30-35 pounds
Class 65Car accessories & car parts, bottled beverages, books in boxes22.5-30 pounds
Class 70Car accessories & car parts, food items, automobile engines15 to 22.5 pounds
Class 77.5Tires, bathroom fixtures13.5 to 15 pounds
Class 85Crated machinery, cast iron stoves12-13.5 pounds
Class 92.5Computers, monitors, refrigerators10.5-12 pounds
Class 100boat covers, car covers, canvas, wine cases, caskets9-10.5 pounds
Class 110cabinets, framed artwork, table saw8-9 pounds
Class 125Small Household appliances7-8 pounds
Class 150Auto sheet metal parts, bookcases,6-7 pounds
Class 175Clothing, couches stuffed furniture5-6 pounds
Class 200Auto sheet metal parts, aircraft parts, aluminum table, packaged mattresses,4-5 pounds
Class 250Bamboo furniture, mattress and box spring, plasma TV3-4 pounds
Class 300wood cabinets, tables, chairs setup, model boats2-3 pounds
Class 400Deer antlers1-2 pounds
Class 500 – Low Density or High ValueHigh ↑ CostBags of gold dust, ping pong ballsLess than 1 lbs.
Freight classes (there are 18 of them) are based on weight, length and height, density, ease of handling, value and liability from things like theft, damage, break-ability and spoilage. For the most part, the lower the NMFC class number, the lower the freight charge.  Go123Logistics can help you figure out your NMFC freight class, insuring the specialized code is correct. This insures that you get correct and consistent pricing for your freight on time. The following table describes the NMFC classes and is meant for general guidance in picking your freight class, a number of factors influence what class your shipment ends up in.

When looking into NMFC’s and figuring out a freight class, a number of commodities are density based, so you need to know the Pounds per Cubic Foot, or PCF of the item.  To get an idea of your PCF, use our Density Calculator.  As an example of how density affects freight class, consider this:
  • The space a foam mattress takes up is equal to the space of several pieces of plywood, but they weigh in completely different.   
  • The density of the raw wood materials is much greater than the density of the foam itself.  
  • Since big lightweight items take up a lot of space in the trailer, the carrier’s charge for the space used based on its density.

Getting the freight class wrong will cost you. If you incorrectly classify your item to be shipped it can be reclassified by the freight carrier and cause delays. Disputing this is difficult, time consuming and you will be charged the difference (usually without a discount). 

Getting the Right Code 

There are several things you can to to get the right NMFC Code: 
  • Contact Us 
  • Contact the manufacturer of your item, most often they will know the NMFC codes for their products 
  • Call the National Motor Freight Traffic Association 
Do you need to ship freight right now, need an expert to help? Contact us, chat live or get a freight quote right now, remember, we are here to help at Go123Logistics.
Niki M.
Niki M.

Niki M., an entrepreneur by blood and part-time writer has 20 years in Business Administration in the Hotel and Restaurant Industry. She is now a key agent in USA Truckloads and LTL freight - gaining knowledge and strengthening client relationships with her undeniable will to exceed expectations combined with her tenacious work ethic and integrity. She specializes in Container, Boat & LTL moves to Hawaii, Costa Rica and Mexico. Languages spoken: English, Spanish

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