Any business that ships freight will quickly become familiar with the term National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC). NMFCs are, “a standard that provides a comparison of commodities moving in interstate, intrastate and foreign commerce,” according to The National Motor Freight Traffic Association.Why Do We Use NMFCs?
Imagine all of the different business and consumer products that are used in daily life. NMFCs exist primarily to provide a standardized starting point from which shippers can negotiate their rates. NMFTA has mandated four elements that go into your freight classification:
- Ease of handling
How to Find Your NMFC
When you schedule a shipment, it is essential that you know the correct NMFC. If the NMFC is incorrect and the carrier needs to re-classify it, you will face varying upcharge fees.
Since density is a factor of freight classification, many logistics companies offer free resources to help you measure. Roadrunner Transportation provides a free density calculator for shippers on their website.
Like anything else, it is worthwhile to take the time to assess your freight correctly the first time. If you are a business that regularly ships the same material, then it will be easier to develop an efficient process. There are many free online resources to assist you with the shipping process, but a best practice for many small business owners is to outsource their shipping to a third-party logistics company (3PL). This ends up saving businesses time and money, while they can focus on what matters most -- the business itself!