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What You Need to Know about Freight Class Changes

If you scroll down to the posts in August, September and October you will find  several articles that discuss shipping and other freight topics.  Today it’s time for a new topic in the series that covers the recent NMFC freight classification changes and how they affect you.

As you may know, the National Motor Freight Traffic Association has been moving towards density based ratings since late in 2012.  This gradual change has now arrived for shipping rack material.


NMFC Classes for Rack Equipment Change

Here’s the short version as paraphrased from the comments in  the change: “Item 164340 (RACKS: Pallet or Warehouse, metal, or Parts or Sections thereof) is amended to provide classes based on greatest dimension, and when greatest dimension does not exceed 96 inches, on density.”

In other words, if the longest dimension is over 96″  it’s classified by length.  If it’s 8 feet long or less it’s classified by density as measured in pounds per cubic foot.

Here are the specifics:

Rack NMFC Classes

As you can see, this change moves rack from a consistent class of 65 to 125 or higher in most cases.

Remember that this change only applies to LTL shipments and is usually only a concern when shipping interstate.


Dealing with the Changes

I’ve covered some of these methods in the earlier newsletters but it’s worth including them in this list so you have them all in the same place:


  • Audit your freight invoices to ensure that both you and your carriers are using the right NMFC class.
  • Use local or regional shippers when possible.  They often cost significantly less than “the big guys”
  • Negotiate with your carriers on pricing your shipments.  A more expensive class doesn’t have to be priced that way.

You’ll be happy to know that we took our own advice and over the last month, both I and the DAK leadership have had several meetings with our carriers. It took some time and some of the negotiations got tough, but it was important to us that we keep the freight charges on your orders as low as possible.

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