How To Calculate Freight Class

Four Simple Steps

Standard 48x40 pallet loaded with plastic wrapped boxes

Navigating the freight shipping world requires a good grasp of freight class, a categorization system used by carriers to determine the pricing of your shipment. Freight class is dictated by several factors including weight, density, stowability, handling, and liability. Understanding how to calculate freight class can save you from costly surprises and help you budget more accurately. Here’s a simple guide to calculating freight class, featuring FreightSideKick.com's handy freight class tool.

Step 1: Measure Your Shipment

Start by accurately measuring the height, width, and depth of your shipment in inches. If your shipment includes multiple items, measure each one individually. Be precise – rounding up or down can change the density calculation, which in turn can alter the freight class.

Step 2: Determine the Weight

Weigh your shipment as precisely as possible. If it's palletized, don't forget to include the weight of the pallet and any packing materials in the total weight. Like dimensions, weight must be exact for accurate freight class determination.

Step 3: Calculate the Density

Density is the space an item occupies in relation to its weight. You can calculate the density by dividing the weight (in pounds) by the volume (in cubic feet). Use inches for your length, width, and height. The formula is:

Density = Weight / [ ( Length × Width × Height ) / 1728 ]

Here, 1728 is the number of cubic inches in a cubic foot. This step is where the FreightSideKick.com freight class tool comes in handy. By inputting your shipment’s dimensions and weight, the tool automatically calculates the density for you.

Step 4: Consult the Freight Class Chart

Once you have your density, refer to a freight class chart to find out where your shipment falls. The NMFTA (National Motor Freight Traffic Association) defines 18 different classes, ranging from 50 to 500. Lower classes represent denser and less fragile freight, which generally costs less to ship. Higher classes are for lighter, bulkier items that take up more space on a truck.

With our freight class calculator, this step is simplified. The tool uses your density calculation to automatically suggest the appropriate freight class. While other factors may be necessary in order to accurately determine your freight class, a density-based calculation is often all it takes.

In summary, calculating freight class doesn't have to be complicated. With FreightSideKick.com's freight class tool, you're just four simple steps away from determining the right classification for your shipment. This small step can lead to significant savings and a smoother shipping process, ensuring you’re charged appropriately for your freight shipping needs.

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