There are many moving parts to LTL systems which can result in unexpected surprises. Common problems are lost freight and reweighs. This results in higher-than-expected freight bills, damages and reclassification of classes and item codes. This post will focus in on the reclassification and item codes.
These item codes are known as the NMFC or National Motor Freight Classification system. People familiar with the old version may call it “that big book the LTL inspector uses to charge me more money”. The NMFC is defined officially by the people who created it as:
A standard that provides a comparison of commodities moving in interstate, intrastate and foreign commerce. It is similar in concept to the groupings or grading systems that serve many other industries. Commodities are grouped into one of 18 classes - from a low of class 50 to a high of class 500 - based on an evaluation of four transportation characteristics: density, handling, stowability and liability. Together, these characteristics establish a commodity’s “transportability.”
Source: NMFTA website.
Earlier this year the NMFC of plastic pallets was changed. The old designation (150383) was a density based item. The new designation (150390) is a density based item with more options for class. I had one customer point out that we have gone full circle from plastic articles to plastic pallets to pallets. We have.
The table below demonstrates the classes per density break down.
- Pallets previously shipped at class 70 will now be approximately 20 percent more expensive to ship LTL. This is the most expensive part of the change.
- Pallets previously shipping at class 125 will either be less expensive or the same cost. This density between 8-10 lbs/cuft will see reduced cost.
- Pallets previously shipping at class 200 are being hit with a double-edged sword depending on density. Pallets shipping at 4-6 lbs/cuft will see a nice savings and those pallets under 4 lbs/cuft densities will see a substantial increase. It is advisable for shippers moving pallets in this density range to seek a pallet rate for these shipments.
Still confused? Understanding all of theses changes may be a bit confusing. Please leave any questions below.
Post by: Patrick Shea, Vice President, CAM Logistics
CAM Logistics: www.camlogisticsllc.com | email@example.com