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Find answers to common freight questions.

How is Freight Class Calculated?

How is Freight Class Calculated? Your freight class is calculated using four transportation factors. This includes stowability, liability, ease of handling, and density. Your item is given a lower freight class when it is high in density (heavy and compact) and is less susceptible to damage. It would receive a higher freight class if it were low in density and more susceptible to damage. Your item, however, may not be identified by freight class. An occurrence such as this is primarily due to an item having a variety of sizes.

Item Identification

Freight class calculation

Not Otherwise Indicated, or (NOI), is what your item would be identified as if it had no freight class. You can calculate your N.O.I. with FreightCenter’s calculator. Shippers may need to call for this info and we are always happy to assist in this. Your shipment’s class is a major part in determining the cost of your shipment. Type of item is the main part of the calculation. You just happen to have to calculate in many different ways.

NMFC Codes

You will primarily use freight classes for (LTL) Less Than Truckloads. NMFC stands for National Motor Freight Classification Code. Shippers use this to balance shipping costs against trailer space. You get unbiased pricing using this code. You use NMFC’s when your item is classified as an N.O.I. FreightCenter is happy to assist in retrieving this code as well.

Density Calculates in Freight Class

You are given a lower freight class when your item is a High Density (heavy and compact) item. Those are less susceptible to damage. Shippers give low-density items a higher freight class when they are more susceptible to damage. Density is how much the item weighs in relation to its size. Shippers measure by cubic feet. The measurement determines the amount of space needed for the item. Your item is given a lower class, when compact, and is cheaper to ship than bulkier items.

Ease of Handling Calculates in Freight Class

Level of care is an additional necessity in calculating your freight class. If your item is fragile, it needs special attention. In addition, hazardous properties need them as well. Both would fit into a higher class and increase the shipping cost. As you can see, the type of item shipped is the main calculation. You just happen to have to calculate in numerous ways.

FreightCenter is happy to assist in calculating your shipment’s freight class.

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Is Freight Class Calculated Easily?

This is a yes and no answer. Essentially, your freight class is calculated due to a variety of reasons. Let’s dive into it.

Stowability Calculates in Freight Class

Stowability is the first and main calculation of all shipping companies. Calculations are taken into account whether or not your item can be transported amongst other commodities. Items that can catch fire, are hazardous, or perishable cannot be shipped amongst certain materials. We recommend keeping your shipment within a crate or box. This would then make your shipment an easier thing to stack and pack within a cargo container or truck.

Liability Calculates in Freight Class

Calculating the value of your item is discovering its liability. Shipping companies refer to the liability as the likelihood of theft and or damage attempts to their vehicle. Liability is very important to them, especially for shipments that involve longer drives. Possessing an item with a greater risk results in a higher freight class. We here at FreightCenter are happy to assist in discovering your item’s liability.


Your Freight Class is a major part of how the rate of your shipment is determined. If your item has a lower class, then it has a lower rate. A total number of 18 freight classes exist. Numbers range from 50 to 500. Ranges this wide can confuse people, but Freight Center is happy to assist you in discovering your shipments freight class. In addition, we can assist in calculating the best rate possible, amongst the best carriers for your shipment.

FreightCenter History

FreightCenter assists shippers by helping them determine freight class. We find the best carrier for their needs and move their cargo at the best available rate. We here at FreightCenter have been around since 1998. We’ve assisted in calculating the freight class for many years and many wonderful companies. We are always happy to assist in calculating for shipments both within the U.S. and around the world.

Start Your Calculations Today

Start today by using FreightCenter’s free freight quote tool. Provides shippers with instant access to freight rates from dozens of top freight carriers. This helps shippers find the best rate available by analyzing all available carriers and routes for their shipment. Freight Center can assist you in calculating your shipment’s freight class when using the quote tool. If wishing to get assistance over the phone, please contact us at 1(800) 716-7608.

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