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How To Correctly Calculate Freight Class For Density Based Items

How To Calculate Freight Class For Density Based Items

Most all major LTL trucking companies choose to participate in the National Motor Freight Classification NMFC, which is the widely accepted standard for classifying freight and for packaging requirements. Here’s a snippet from the NMFTA’s website explaining who must participate in the NMFC.


The NMFC & How to Calculate Freight Class

Since most of the major trucking companies in the US choose to participate, it’s important to understand the simple calculations involved for density based items under this standard.

Below is an example of how to correctly calculate freight class for any items that fall under a density category in the NMFC. Several categories of items are density based such as plastic articles, lighting fixtures, and various sporting goods products.


Step 1.  Multiply the length X width X height in inches of each pallet or crate you’re shipping and add the total/s together.

Step 2. Divide that total by 1728 (This converts inches into cubic feet).

Step 3. Now take the total weight and divide that by the total cubic feet.

Example. 2 pallets at 48x48x48 and 300 lbs each pallet

48x48x48 x2 = 221,184

221,184/1728 = 128 Cubic Feet

300 lbs x 2 = 600 lbs / 128 Cube = 4.68 or 4.68 PCF (lbs per cubic foot)

Step 4. Find the PCF listed on the class chart below and viola you have successfully calculated your freight class!

400 Less than 1 PCF
300 1 but less than 2 PCF
250 2 but less than 4 PCF
150 4 but less than 6 PCF
125 6 but less than 8 PCF
100 8 but less than 10 PCF
92.5 10 but less than 12 PCF
85 12 but less than 15 PCF
70 15 or greaterPCF

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