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Is A Higher Freight Class More Expensive?

Find answers to common freight questions.

Is a Higher Freight Class More Expensive?

One could infer that the more something weighs, the higher its freight class would be, but that is not the case. Higher freight classes are more expensive due to several factors, including density, stowability, handling, and liability. For example, ping-pong balls have a freight class of 500 which is the highest freight class, due to their innate lack of density. While the explanation for why ping-pong balls are a high class is pretty simple, the classification for most items is not that simple.

Does a Low-Density Item have a Higher Freight Class?

Density is one of the most critical factors in determining freight class. Density measures how much space an item takes up about its weight. You can calculate the density of an object by dividing its weight by volume. Things with a higher density tend to have a lower freight class than those with a lower density. This is because items with a higher density take up less space for the same weight. As a result, they cost less to ship. However, density is not the only factor that determines freight class. Other factors, such as stowability, also play a role in determining freight class.


When shipping freight, stowability is an essential factor to consider. The lower the stowability, the higher the freight class. Stowability takes into account whether an item can be stored with other things. Several freight types cannot be loaded together, such as certain hazardous materials, particularly massive freight, or freight that protrudes in a fixed, inconvenient direction. A way to increase the stowability of an item is to securely package it in a crate. This would make your shipment stackable and fit well with the other freight on the truck.


The level of care required for your shipment is part of calculating your freight class. The more attention your item needs, the higher the cost. For example, a family heirloom is a used item and thus can’t be protected with add-on shipping insurance. In addition, hazardous materials are at risk of things such as catching on fire. These items would need special attention and earn themselves a high freight class. Higher handling is required, which raises the cost.

Freight Class Liability


Liability is the likelihood of theft or damage to the vehicle shipping the item. The value of the article is what calculates its liability. The higher the chances, the higher the freight class. This raises the cost for understandable reasons. Especially for shipments involving longer commutes. The longer it takes to ship the item, the greater the risk.

Do You Need a Freight Class?

Freight Classes are primarily used for (LTL) Less Than Truckload shipments. (NOI) Not Otherwise Indicated is what your item is identified as if it doesn’t have a class number. This is when you’d use an NMFC Code. National Motor Freight Classification Codes balance shipping costs against trailer space. You get fair pricing using this code. We assist with calculating your N.O.I. using our N.O.I. Calculator.


Your Freight Class is a significant part of how the rate of your shipment is determined. If your item has a higher class, it has a higher rate. A total number of 18 class numbers exist. Numbers range from 50 to 500. Ranges this wide can confuse people. However, there are ways to get assistance in determining the cost and number of your freight class. Partnering with a 3PL is the way to go.

Partnering with a 3PL

3PLs assist you with everything involved with your shipment. They help determine your freight class, rate, and best carrier and, in addition, book and keep an eye on your shipment. 3PL are expert in the shipment field. They create large networks amongst pages around the world. In doing so, they can negotiate rates for their customers.

Which 3PL Should You Choose?

FreightCenter is the way to go. We assist shippers by helping them determine freight class. We find the best carrier for their needs and move their cargo at the best rate. FreightCenter has been around since 1998. We’ve assisted in calculating the freight class for many years and many notable companies. We are always happy to assist in calculating shipments and finding the best rate for you, both within the U.S. and worldwide.

Determine the Cost of Your Freight Class 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 by analyzing all available carrier routes for their shipment. FreightCenter can assist you in calculating your shipment’s freight class using the quote tool. If you wish to get assistance over the phone, please get in touch with us at 1(800) 716-7608.

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