BlueGrace offers companies best-in-class technology and supply chain management services.
Transportation management helps simplify supply chains and drives savings for customers. Through an array of relationships with logistics experts, customers and carriers, BlueGrace is able to offer the industry’s most dependable service.
When BlueGrace first started in 2009, the company’s core values revolved around putting customers before profits.
The company has used their core values to go from a single location with 24 employees to offering 12 locations and employing over 600 people across the country.
What is the Role of Freight Class in LTL Shipping?
Freight Class is an integral part of LTL shipping.
New shippers often don’t know the importance of freight class or how freight class works entirely. A simple way to look at freight class is to see it as a way to “establish the transportability of a commodity.”
The National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) is in control of freight class and has created standards that enforce the system.
In total, there are 18 NMFC codes that are between 50 and 500.
Four characteristics are used when determining the correct NMFC code for a shipment:
- Density. The weight and dimensions of a product. When density is calculated, it is done to determine how many pounds are in each cubic foot of a product. Higher density means a lower class
- Handling. Freight handling is also considered, and this will be the item’s ability to be loaded and unloaded at a terminal. The difficulty of handling is assessed with everything, from dimensions and packaging to the fragility of an item being considered.
- Liability. Each shipment’s liability is considered, and this determines the probability of the item being damaged, stolen or damaging other freight.
- Stowability. The stowability of the product dictates how an item can be transported with other items. For example, a hazardous materials shipment cannot be loaded with other freight. Certain freight may have odd dimensions or can cause significant damage to other freight and needs to be loaded alone.
Freight class all comes down to one thing: cost. When freight class is lower, the price is lower. For example, a class 500 is more expensive than a class 50.
But there are also NMFC codes that need to be considered.
What are NMFC Codes?
When items ship, they’ll have an associated NMFC code attached to them. You can think of these codes as being similar to PLU codes, which you’ll find on items in the grocery store. The code is specific to each item.
The NMFC manages a large database of products and their respective codes.
BlueGrace logistics will be able to help find the right code for a client’s product. Some products have a permanent class, while others will take all of the characteristics into account when providing the class of the freight.
Transmissions, for example, have an NMFC code of 19940.
If you’re shipping a lot of transmissions from different manufacturers and for different makes and models of vehicles, all of the transmissions will have the same NMFC code and an 85 class.
How to Calculate Freight Class
Calculating freight class can be difficult, but BlueGrace’s density calculator can help.
The free freight density calculator takes into account the most important factor in determining freight class: density.
The calculator, which you can use for free, allows you to enter the following information:
When you enter all of these four metrics, you’ll be able to hit the calculate button. The button will provide you with a full listing of the following information:
- Total cube
- Total weight
- Total density
- Estimated freight class
While the estimated freight class is very accurate, it’s just a guideline and should be followed up with doing your own research on NMFC guidelines. The NMFC guidelines will further help you assess the class of your freight.
BlueGrace Logistics offers you even more help, with the ability to add several freight items to your shipment.
You’re likely shipping more than one single type of item, and the calculator allows you to add multiple items for calculation.
It makes determining the density of your freight fast and easy.
You also have the option of working directly with one of the logistics experts at BlueGrace that will provide you with a free quote for your freight. When you work with one of these experts, they’ll be able to ensure that you have correctly classified your freight.
Machinery and steel items, often the most dense and durable, should be within Class 50 and 85.
Bulky and fragile items will fall into the 125 to 500 freight class.
BlueGrace Logistics Goes Beyond Free Tools
BlueGrace offers free calculators to help make your shipping hassle-free, but NMFC freight class is difficult. When customers face challenges with their freight class or proper coding, an NMFC freight class expert can help.
These experts are available to help you determine the correct freight class for all of your shipments.
When your business needs to cut back on costs, a freight class expert is there to:
- Determine your needs
- Evaluate all of your business’s processes
- Correct any issues that you may have now and in the future
You’ll save money with BlueGrace’s experts by your side.
There is also a complete shipping terms glossary that aims to help customers understand all of the terms that they need when doing any form of shipping:
When you work with BlueGrace, the company puts their expertise on the line to help you find success. The company has relationships with 1000s of LTL carriers, and all of these relationships offer you competitive rates.
Through the company’s network of carriers, they’re able to provide you with a faster and simpler way to do business.
BlueGrace provides three main advantages:
- Carriers and rates that have been achieved through long-term networking. You’ll receive amazing rates on all shipments with quality, reliable shipping companies.
- Customer support that will assist you from the quote to delivery of all of your items. BlueGrace will always help you find the best route for all of your shipments.
- Technology that is available to you for free. You gain access to BlueShip, which can be used to get LTL quotes, consolidate your billing and track all of your shipments.
The free freight class calculator is the industry’s easiest way to determine freight. You’ll be able to use the calculator for all of your shipments, and you’ll also be able to get a freight quote and take to one of BlueGrace Logistics’ freight experts that is ready to answer all of your questions.
With the free tools available, you’ll be able to get your freight shipped faster and spend less money in the process.