How to Avoid Surprises with Freight Class Rates

For more than 80 years, the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) standard has determined the freight classes for motor carriers. Based on four key factors — density, handling, stowability, and liability — it provides a standardized set of items and rules for classifying freight.

This system plays an important role in making billing more predictable for shippers and load planning smoother for carriers, so everyone knows what to expect from the shipping process.

However, in practice, it can sometimes be complex and take shippers time to learn how to properly navigate it. Freight classification mistakes and inaccurate or incomplete bills of lading can lead to confusion, delays, and unexpected charges on final bills. If the carrier has to reclassify freight because it was entered incorrectly, it takes time and energy and incurs clerical costs on both the shipper and carrier. Unanticipated fees are reflected on the carrier’s invoice and then either absorbed by the shipper or passed on to their customers, which can have negative effects on both shippers and carriers.

Shippers that want predictability in their pricing should be working with a transportation partner that can help them learn the system and navigate it quickly, easily, to avoid surprises. 

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To discuss your specific shipping classification and needs, reach out to an Old Dominion Solution Specialist today.