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Freight Density Calculator

Freight Density Calculator

Looking for an easy and accurate way to calculate your shipment's freight density? Our Freight Density Calculator is the perfect solution! With just a few simple inputs, our calculator provides you with an accurate freight density and helps you determine the correct freight class for your shipment. Save time and money on shipping costs with our user-friendly and reliable Freight Density Calculator.

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What Is Freight Density?

Freight density refers to the measurement of how much space a shipment occupies in relation to its weight. It is determined by calculating the weight of a shipment in pounds per cubic foot (PCF). The higher the weight per cubic foot, the denser the shipment is, and the lower the weight per cubic foot, the less dense the shipment is.

In the world of freight transportation, the classification of a shipment is determined based on its density. The National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) is a standardized system that categorizes freight shipments based on their density, value, and other characteristics. Shipment classification is crucial in determining the cost of transportation, as carriers charge higher rates for shipments with higher classifications.

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Calculate Your Freight’s Density & Class

Freight Class Chart

Freight Density (in lbs per cubic foot)           Freight Class
Less than 1           400
1 but less than 2           300
2 but less than 4           250
4 but less than 6           175
6 but less than 8           125
8 but less than 10           100
10 but less than 12           92.5
12 but less than 15           85
15 but less than 22.5           70
22.5 but less than 30           65
Over 30           60

 

How To Calculate Freight Density

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If you have several different shipments, use the freight density calculation for each individual piece. Add the cubic inch measurements for the pieces together to get the grand total, then convert to cubic feet for a grand total before dividing by weight.

Remember: This is a simplified method, and actual shipping costs may also consider factors like distance, handling, and insurance. Calculate freight density and freight class without the manual math by using our free online quoting tool.

If the density of a shipment is low, it means that the shipment occupies more space in proportion to its weight, making it more expensive to transport. Conversely, denser shipments are more cost-effective to transport because they take up less space relative to their weight.

Calculating the freight density of a shipment is important when using a density-based freight carrier or when the NMFC for the shipment is Not Otherwise Indicated (NOI). To determine the correct classification for your shipment, you need to know its freight density. You can use a freight density calculator to determine your cargo’s density and corresponding freight class in seconds.
In short, Freight density is a measure of the weight of a shipment in relation to its size or volume, and it plays a critical role in determining the cost of transportation. Knowing your shipment’s density is essential for accurate classification and cost calculation, and using a freight density calculator can help make this process quicker and more efficient.

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What Is A Freight Density Calculator?

A Freight Density Calculator is an online tool that helps shippers and carriers calculate the density of a shipment to determine its freight class. The tool asks for the shipment’s dimensions, weight, origin, and destination zip codes and uses this information to calculate the pounds per cubic foot (PCF) of the shipment.

The PCF is an essential factor in determining the shipment’s freight class, which in turn affects the shipping costs. A shipment with a lower density (higher PCF) will have a higher freight class and, therefore, cost more to ship than a shipment with a higher density (lower PCF).

A Freight Density Calculator simplifies the calculation process, allowing shippers to quickly determine the density of their shipment and calculate the shipping costs. Many online freight providers offer free Freight Density Calculators as part of their online tools and resources.

Using a Freight Density Calculator can save shippers time and effort, ensure accurate calculations, and help them avoid overpaying for shipping costs.

Using A Freight Density Class Calculator

FreightCenter’s Freight Density Calculator is an excellent tool for shippers and carriers for several reasons:

  1. User-Friendly Interface: The Freight Density Calculator is easy to use and navigate, with clear instructions and prompts. It’s designed to be user-friendly, even for those who are not familiar with the shipping industry’s technical terms.
  2. Accuracy: FreightCenter’s Freight Density Calculator provides accurate results by using the latest technology to calculate the shipment’s density accurately. This ensures that the freight class and shipping cost estimates are as accurate as possible.
  3. Fast and Convenient: The calculator provides results in seconds, saving shippers and carriers time and effort. Additionally, it’s available online 24/7, making it convenient for users to access and use at any time.
  4. Free to Use: FreightCenter’s Freight Density Calculator is free to use, providing shippers and carriers with a cost-effective and accessible tool to help them calculate their shipment’s density and freight class.
  5. Access to Shipping Experts: In addition to the calculator, FreightCenter offers access to shipping experts who can provide guidance and support for any shipping needs. This ensures that shippers and carriers have access to knowledgeable professionals who can help them navigate the complexities of the shipping industry.

 

Overall, FreightCenter’s Freight Density Calculator is an amazing tool for shippers and carriers because it’s accurate, user-friendly, fast, convenient, and free to use. It’s a valuable resource for anyone involved in the shipping industry who needs to determine the density and freight class of their shipment.

 

How Do You Calculate Freight Density?

Calculating freight density is an important step in determining the cost of shipping a freight shipment. Freight density refers to the weight of the shipment in relation to the amount of space it occupies. Freight carriers use this information to classify shipments and determine the appropriate cost of transportation.

To calculate freight density manually, you will need to know the weight and dimensions of your shipment. The weight should be measured in pounds or kilograms, and the dimensions should be measured in inches or centimeters. The three dimensions you will need to measure are length, width, and height. Once you have this information, you can follow the steps below to calculate the freight density:

Step 1: Calculate the total volume of the shipment in cubic feet. To do this, multiply the length, width, and height of the shipment in inches. For example, if the shipment measures 48 inches long, 40 inches wide, and 36 inches high, the total volume would be:

48 x 40 x 36 = 69,120 cubic inches

Step 2: Convert the total volume from cubic inches to cubic feet by dividing the total volume by 1,728 (since there are 1,728 cubic inches in a cubic foot). Using the example above, the calculation would be:

69,120 / 1,728 = 40 cubic feet

Step 3: Divide the weight of the shipment in pounds by the total volume in cubic feet to get the freight density in pounds per cubic foot. For example, if the shipment weighs 1,200 pounds, the freight density would be:

1,200 / 40 = 30 pounds per cubic foot

In this example, the freight density is 30 pounds per cubic foot, meaning that the shipment weighs 30 pounds for every cubic foot of space it occupies.

Once you have calculated the freight density, you can use it to determine the appropriate freight class for your shipment. The National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) system uses freight density, value, and other factors to classify shipments into different categories. The classification determines the cost of transportation, so it’s important to accurately calculate the freight density to ensure that you are being charged the correct rate.

The following table describes how NMFC classes relate. IMPORTANT: This does not consider any class adjustments based on handling, liability, and stowability, which can affect the class and, therefore, the cost.

  • The freight shipping class is based on the density of the item.
  • More dense items, such as metals and heavy machinery, have low classifications, such as Class 60 through 100.
  • Fragile or large items are less dense, and their freight classes range from class 125 to 500

 

freight density table

 

 

Calculate Your Freight’s Density & Class

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What Is The Importance of A Freight Density Calculator?

A freight density calculator is an essential tool for shippers, carriers, and freight brokers. Here are some of the reasons why a freight density calculator is important:

Accurate Freight Class Determination: Freight density is the most crucial factor in determining a shipment’s freight class. A freight density calculator accurately calculates your shipment’s density, which helps you determine the correct freight class for your shipment. This information is essential as freight class directly impacts shipping costs.

Time-Saving: Calculating freight density manually can be time-consuming and prone to errors. A freight density calculator automates the calculation process and provides you with accurate results in seconds, saving you time and reducing the chances of errors.

Cost Reduction: Knowing your shipment’s correct freight class and density helps you avoid overpaying for shipping costs. A freight density calculator allows you to optimize your shipment’s dimensions and weight to lower the density, which can help you reduce your shipping costs.

Improved Efficiency: A freight density calculator helps you improve your overall shipping efficiency. By determining the correct freight class and density, you can choose the most cost-effective shipping method, carrier, and packaging to ensure that your shipment arrives at its destination safely and on time.

A freight density calculator is an essential tool that helps shippers, carriers, and freight brokers accurately determine a shipment’s freight class and density, save time, reduce costs, and improve shipping efficiency.

 

freight density table

Three Step Freight Density Calculator Equation

The Three-Step Freight Density Equation used in FreightCenter’s Freight Density Calculator is a simple and effective way to calculate the density of your shipment. Here are the three steps involved:

Step 1: Measure the dimensions of your shipment in inches (length, width, and height).

Step 2: Multiply the dimensions together to get the total cubic inches of your shipment.

Step 3: Divide the total weight of your shipment by the total cubic inches to get the pounds per cubic foot (PCF) or density of your shipment.

The equation is as follows:

Density (PCF) = Weight of Shipment (lbs) ÷ Total Cubic Inches of Shipment × 1728

The result of the equation gives you the density of your shipment in pounds per cubic foot (PCF). This information is crucial in determining your shipment’s freight class and shipping costs.

FreightCenter’s Freight Density Calculator automates this equation to provide accurate and reliable results in seconds. The calculator is easy to use, and you can use it for free on their website.

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Freight Class Density vs. NMFC Number

Freight class density and NMFC number are two important factors used in the classification of freight shipments, which determines the cost of transportation. While they are related, they are not the same thing.

Freight class density is a measure of the weight of a shipment in relation to its volume or space. It is expressed in pounds per cubic foot (lbs/ft³). The freight density is calculated by dividing the weight of the shipment by its volume in cubic feet. The higher the freight density, the higher the freight class and the higher the shipping cost.

The National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) number, on the other hand, is a standardized code assigned to a specific commodity or product based on its characteristics. The NMFC number is used to determine the appropriate freight class for the shipment, which is based on the density, stowability, handling, and liability of the product. The NMFC number is assigned by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) and is used by carriers to determine the appropriate shipping rate.

 

How Is LTL Class Density Calculated?

LTL (Less Than Truckload) class density is calculated using the same formula as the general freight density, which is:

Freight Density (lbs/ft³) = Weight of Shipment (lbs) / Total Cubic Feet of Shipment

The total cubic feet of the shipment is calculated by multiplying the length, width, and height of the shipment in inches, and then dividing the result by 1728 (the number of cubic inches in a cubic foot).

The LTL carrier will typically measure the shipment and determine the freight density before assigning a freight class. The LTL class density is used to determine the appropriate freight class, which is based on the density, stowability, handling, and liability of the product.

The LTL class density is an important factor in determining the shipping cost for a LTL shipment. The higher the LTL class density, the higher the freight class and the higher the shipping cost. LTL carriers will also take into consideration the distance the shipment needs to travel, the origin and destination locations, and other factors when determining the shipping cost.

It’s important to note that LTL carriers may have their own unique requirements and formulas for calculating the freight density, and it’s best to check with the carrier to ensure the proper calculation is used for your shipment.

The NMFC number is a four-digit code that is assigned to each commodity or product. It is used to identify the product and to determine its classification based on its characteristics. The NMFC number is used in conjunction with the freight density to determine the appropriate freight class for the shipment. The freight class is a number from 50 to 500, and the higher the number, the higher the shipping cost.

In general, commodities with a lower NMFC number and a higher freight density are assigned to a higher freight class, and therefore, have a higher shipping cost. For example, a shipment of bricks would have a higher NMFC number and a higher freight density, resulting in a higher freight class and higher shipping cost than a shipment of pillows, which have a lower NMFC number and a lower freight density.

In summary, freight class density and NMFC number are both important factors in determining the cost of shipping a freight shipment. Freight density is a measure of the weight of the shipment in relation to its volume, while NMFC number is a standardized code assigned to a specific commodity based on its characteristics. The NMFC number is used to determine the appropriate freight class for the shipment, which is based on the density, stowability, handling, and liability of the product.

NMFC-based freight class – The Nation Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), a nonprofit membership organization of motor carriers, created the National Motor Freight Classification® (NMFC) system to assign freight classes for a multitude of commodities.

Density-based freight class – There are two circumstances under which density, not NMFC, will determine a cargo’s freight class.

1) You are using a density-based carrier.

2) the NMFC for what you are shipping is Not Otherwise Indicated (NOI). Sometimes, that may be because you are shipping several items with different freight classes in the same crate.

The freight density of an object is the measurement of its compactness or pounds per cubic foot (PCF). Watch the video below to learn how freight density and freight class are closely related.

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Freight Density is critical.

Freight density is critical because it is a key factor in determining the cost of shipping a freight shipment. Freight carriers use freight density to calculate the freight class of the shipment, which in turn determines the shipping cost. The higher the freight class, the higher the shipping cost.

Freight density is important because it provides an accurate measure of the weight of a shipment in relation to its size or volume. This allows carriers to determine the amount of space the shipment will occupy on the truck, and to allocate space and weight capacity accordingly. This is important because carriers want to maximize their revenue by transporting as much freight as possible in the least amount of space.

Freight density is also important because it helps carriers to ensure that their trucks are not overloaded or underutilized. Overloading a truck can result in safety risks, damage to the freight, and regulatory penalties. Underutilizing a truck can result in increased fuel and maintenance costs, and lost revenue opportunities.

In addition, freight density is important for shippers because it can help them to optimize their packaging and reduce shipping costs. By packing items more efficiently, shippers can reduce the size and weight of the shipment, resulting in a lower freight density and a lower shipping cost.

Overall, freight density is critical because it is a key factor in determining the shipping cost for a freight shipment, and it plays an important role in ensuring the safety, efficiency, and profitability of the transportation industry.

Importance of your freight’s density.

The importance of a freight’s density cannot be overstated, as it directly impacts the cost of shipping and the classification of the shipment. Here are some reasons why freight density is important:

Cost of shipping: The freight density is used by carriers to determine the shipping cost for a shipment. The higher the density, the lower the freight classification and the lower the shipping cost. Conversely, the lower the density, the higher the freight classification and the higher the shipping cost.

Efficient use of space: Freight density is used by carriers to determine the amount of space a shipment will occupy on a truck. This is important because carriers want to maximize the use of available space to transport as much freight as possible in one trip. By understanding the density of a shipment, carriers can make more informed decisions about how to pack and allocate space on their trucks.

Improved safety: Freight density is also important for safety reasons. Carriers need to ensure that they are not overloading their trucks, which can result in safety risks, damage to the freight, and regulatory penalties. By knowing the density of a shipment, carriers can better manage their weight capacities and ensure that their trucks are not overloaded.

Optimal packaging: Knowing the density of a shipment can help shippers to pack their items more efficiently. By reducing the size and weight of a shipment, shippers can lower the freight density, resulting in a lower shipping cost. This can help shippers to save money on shipping and make their products more competitive in the marketplace.

The importance of a freight’s density cannot be overlooked. By understanding the freight density of a shipment, carriers and shippers can make more informed decisions about how to allocate space, manage weight capacities, and optimize packaging. This can result in cost savings, improved safety, and a more competitive marketplace.

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Takeaways on Freight Density Calculators:

  • Freight density calculators are useful tools that can help shippers and carriers determine the density and freight class of a shipment.
  • Freight density calculators use the dimensions and weight of a shipment to calculate the density in pounds per cubic foot (PCF).
  • Freight density calculators can help shippers to optimize their packaging and reduce shipping costs by identifying the most efficient way to pack items and reduce the size and weight of a shipment.
  • Freight density calculators are particularly useful when dealing with density-based carriers or shipments with an NMFC code of “Not Otherwise Indicated” (NOI), as the freight class may not be immediately apparent.
  • Freight density calculators can help carriers to maximize their revenue by allocating space and weight capacity more efficiently and ensuring that their trucks are not overloaded or underutilized.
  • Freight density is a key factor in determining the cost of shipping a freight shipment. The higher the freight class, the higher the shipping cost. Therefore, understanding the freight density of a shipment is crucial to ensuring that shipping costs are minimized and profitability is maximized.

How Freight Density and Other Factors Affect Freight Rates

As a shipper, it’s essential to understand the various factors that determine the cost of shipping your goods. Freight rates are influenced by multiple factors, including package dimensions, weight, distance, and freight class. However, one crucial factor that significantly affects freight rates is the density of your shipment.

Freight density is calculated by dividing the weight of the shipment by the cubic feet it occupies. The density of a shipment is used to determine its freight class, which, in turn, determines the cost of shipping. The higher the density, the lower the freight class, and the lower the shipping cost. Conversely, the lower the density, the higher the freight class, and the higher the shipping cost.

Another factor that can impact freight rates is the package’s dimensions. Carriers have limited space on their trucks, and larger packages take up more space, resulting in higher shipping costs. The weight of the package is also a factor that can impact freight rates. Heavier packages require more fuel and labor to transport, resulting in higher shipping costs.

The distance a package travels can also affect the shipping cost. Longer distances require more fuel and labor, resulting in higher shipping costs. Finally, freight class is determined by the density, stowability, handling, and liability of a shipment. The higher the freight class, the higher the shipping cost.

In conclusion, freight rates are determined by several factors, including package dimensions, weight, distance, and freight class. Understanding how these factors impact freight rates can help you make informed decisions about your shipping needs and reduce shipping costs. At our company, we offer a wide range of services and tools to help shippers optimize their shipments and minimize their shipping costs. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you save money on your freight shipments.

What if an NMFC number cannot classify your commodity or product?

If an NMFC number cannot classify your commodity or product, it means that your product is classified as “Not Otherwise Indicated” or NOI. In such a case, you need to determine the density of your shipment to calculate the freight class. The freight class is determined by the density, stowability, handling, and liability of the shipment.

To determine the density of your shipment, you need to measure the length, width, and height of the package and multiply them together to get the total cubic inches. Then, divide the weight of the package by the total cubic inches to get the density of the shipment.

Once you have determined the density of your shipment, you can use a freight density calculator to determine the freight class. A freight density calculator will ask for the shipment’s dimensions, weight, and origin and destination zip codes, and will use this information to calculate the freight class and shipping cost.

It’s essential to ensure that you accurately determine the density of your shipment to avoid overpaying for shipping costs. Additionally, you should work with a reputable carrier that has experience shipping your type of product to ensure that it’s handled properly and delivered on time.

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Freight Density FAQs

Q. What is freight density? 

A. Freight density refers to the amount of space a shipment occupies to its weight. It is calculated by dividing the weight of the load (in pounds or kilograms) by its volume (in cubic feet or cubic meters). Freight density helps determine how efficiently cargo is packed and utilized within a vehicle.

Q. Why is freight density important in shipping?

A. Freight density is important in shipping because it helps carriers and logistics providers optimize transportation resources. By understanding a shipment’s density, they can determine how much space it will occupy on a truck, plane, or other transport modes. This information is crucial for capacity planning, load optimization, and pricing calculations.

Q. How is freight density calculated? 

A. Freight density is calculated by dividing the weight of the shipment (in pounds or kilograms) by its volume (in cubic feet or cubic meters). The formula for calculating density is Density = weight (lbs or kg) / Volume (cubic feet or cubic meters). The resulting value represents the pounds or kilograms per cubic foot or cubic meter.

Q. What are the units of measurement for freight density?

A. Freight density can be expressed in various units of measure, depending on the weight and volume units used. Standard density units include pounds per cubic foot (lbs/ft³), kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m³), and pounds per cubic inch (lbs/in³).

Q. How does freight density affect shipping costs?

A. Freight density plays a significant role in determining shipping costs. Carriers often use a concept called “dimensional weight” or “volumetric weight” to calculate charges based on the size and density of the shipment. If a load has a low density, meaning it occupies a relatively large amount of space compared to its weight, it may be charged based on its dimensional weight rather than its actual weight. Higher-density shipments typically result in lower shipping costs.

Q. What is dimensional weight or volumetric weight?

A. Dimensional weight, also known as volumetric weight, is a calculation used by carriers to determine the chargeable weight of a shipment. It is based on the size and density of the load rather than its actual weight. If the dimensional weight exceeds the actual weight, carriers may charge based on the higher value. The formula for calculating dimensional weight varies depending on the carrier and the unit of measurement used.

Q. How can I optimize freight density for cost savings?

A. To optimize freight density and potentially reduce shipping costs, consider the following strategies:
Efficient Packaging: Use appropriate packaging materials and methods to minimize unused space and prevent excessive voids in the shipment.
Consolidation: Consolidate multiple small shipments into a single larger shipment to maximize space utilization.
Proper Sizing: Select packaging sizes closely matching the contents’ dimensions to avoid excess space.
Palletization: Utilize pallets and stack shipments vertically to maximize space utilization and prevent wasted volume.

Q. Are there density restrictions for certain types of freight? 

A. Yes, certain types of cargo may have density restrictions imposed by carriers or regulations. For example, hazardous materials may have specific density limitations to ensure safe transportation. It’s essential to check with the carrier or consult regulatory guidelines to ensure compliance with any density restrictions that may apply to your specific type of freight.

Q. Is freight density the same as freight class? 

A. No, freight density and freight class are different concepts. Freight density refers to the amount of space a shipment occupies relative to its weight. In contrast, freight class is a standardized classification system used to categorize different types of freight based on their characteristics, such as density, stowability, and handling requirements. The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) determines the Freight class and affects pricing and regulations.

Q. Where can I find the density requirements or guidelines for my shipment? 

A. Density requirements or guidelines may vary depending on the carrier, mode of transportation, and specific regulations. It is best to consult with the carrier or logistics provider handling your shipment to obtain accurate density requirements and guidelines applicable to your particular shipment. Remember that freight density is essential when planning shipments, optimizing space utilization, and determining shipping costs. Understanding how density calculations and dimensional weight impact your shipping expenses can help you make informed decisions and potentially save costs in your logistics operations.