A logistics manager for a large freight company is responsible for classifying different types of cargo to determine the appropriate freight class. For example, the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) system is the standard a company uses to classify cargo into one of 18 classes ranging from class 50 to class 500. This classification system is based on several factors: density, stowability, handling, and liability.
In this article, you will explore the top factors determining shipping class and how they impact the freight rates for your cargo. Understanding these factors can help you save money and ensure your cargo arrives at its destination safely.
The density of your cargo is an important component in determining its cargo category. The density of your cargo refers to its weight per cubic foot. The higher the density, the lower the cargo category and, thus, the lower the shipping cost. In contrast, the lower the density, the higher the freight class and the higher the shipping cost. As a result, packing your cargo tightly and efficiently is critical to minimize wasted space and maximizing density.
Stowability refers to how easy or difficult it is to store your cargo on a truck. If your goods are difficult to stack or take up a lot of space, they will be assigned to a higher cargo category, resulting in a higher shipping cost. If your goods, on the other hand, are simple to stack and take up little space, they will be categorized in a lower cargo category, resulting in a reduced shipping cost. As a result, it is critical to package your goods in a way that makes it easy to stack and store on a truck. Experts like Flock Freight say, “Shipments should have clear load-bearing surfaces to allow them easily to stack with other freight.”
The ease with which you may load and unload your merchandise from a truck is called handling. If your cargo requires special handling or equipment, such as a forklift or crane, it will be classified as a higher cargo category, resulting in a higher shipping cost. Your cargo will be classed in a lower cargo category if it is simple to load and unload, resulting in a lower shipping cost. As a result, it is critical to assess your cargo’s handling requirements and package it accordingly.
Liability refers to the risk of damage or loss to your cargo during shipping. If your cargo is more prone to damage or loss, it will be classified in a higher freight class, resulting in a higher shipping cost. On the other hand, if your cargo is less prone to damage or loss, it will be classified in a lower freight class, resulting in a lower shipping cost. Therefore, it is important to consider the fragility of your cargo and package it accordingly to minimize the risk of damage or loss.
Some cargo may need special requirements or equipment, such as refrigeration or hazardous materials handling, which can impact the cargo category and shipping cost. It is critical to notify your freight business of any specific requirements your goods may have for them to be properly classified and carried securely.
Understanding the major elements that influence shipping class will help you save money while ensuring your shipment arrives safely at its destination. You may reduce transportation expenses and the risk of damage or loss by packaging your cargo properly and considering its handling requirements. Always work with a reputable freight company that can provide guidance and support throughout the shipping process to ensure your cargo arrives on time and in good condition.