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LTL Freight Class & NMFC Shipping Codes

Freight Class for LTL Shipping

Freight Class is an integral part of the less than truckload (LTL) shipping industry, but one that most new brewery owners are confused by. National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) codes are a designation used to group commodities into one of 18 classifications, ranging from 50 to 500. LTL freight classes define categories of items, whereas NMFC codes are related to specific commodities in each of the 18 freight classes.

The characteristics used to determine which class a product belongs to include: 

  • Density: Based on its dimensions and weight, an item’s density can be calculated. As density increases, classes become lower and ultimately, costs become lower. 
  • Stowability: A shipment’s stowability refers to its ability to fit comfortably with other freight in the transport vehicle, taking into account hazardous shipments or items of unusual dimensions that make it difficult to load cargo around them.
  • Handling: The handling of the freight includes loading and unloading the freight from LTL terminal to LTL terminal. How difficult it is to handle an item depends on its dimensions, fragility, and packaging.
  • Liability: Liability considers the likelihood of damaged or stolen shipments or damage to other adjacent freight.

An NMFC code is associated with every item transported through LTL shipping. This type of shipping is used for the transportation of smaller freight or when freight does not use an entire trailer, typically weighing between 150 and 15,000 pounds.

How LTL Shipping Rates Are Calculated

  • Weight
  • Linear Feet
  • Standard Local Pick Up
  • Delivery Fee
  • Service Requirements

ESTIMATED LOAD WEIGHT

LTL carriers determine your shipment rate by calculating your product’s class plus your product’s weight. This is why it is important to provide a precise estimated load weight. With LTL, you are paying the carrier on a weight-based rate. If you estimate the weight too high, any excess goes to the LTL carrier. Estimate too low and you’ll pay for the extra weight plus a reweigh fee.

This includes pallet weight (a standard pallet weighs approximately 25 lbs and a heavy-duty pallet weighs approximately 50 lbs).

LINEAR FEET

In accordance with the linear foot rule, shipments that occupy 10 linear feet or more of trailer space are charged 1,000 pounds per foot. In most cases, there must be at least five single-stacked pallets or 10 double-stacked pallets to abide by this rule. If your palletized freight cannot be stacked, it has a larger footprint and therefore costs more to ship.

STANDARD LOCAL PICK UP

Freight can also be priced according to the distance it has to travel to get to its destination. If your freight has to travel longer distances, it will likely cost more. The trucking industry typically breaks down the length of haul (LOH) as follows:

  • Short-Haul (less than 250 miles)
  • Mid-Haul (250 to 400 miles)
  • Tweener (401 to 800 miles)
  • Long-Haul (801 to 1,200 miles)
  • Extended-Haul (more than 1,200 miles)

DELIVERY FEE

Delivery fees exist to cover the costs of bringing the freight to where it needs to be shipped. The way that these fees are broken down depends on how the LTL shipping company operates. 

To learn more about Brew Movers’ delivery fees, please contact us.

SERVICE REQUIREMENTS

Carriers may charge additional charges for services they provide in addition to the basic terminal-to-terminal service. This can include drop trailers, tarping, tailgate service, protection against freezing, extra wait time (detention penalties), and pickups/deliveries from private residences.

DETENTION PENALTY

When a truck has to wait more than two hours to get loaded or unloaded, you’ll pay a detention penalty fee which ranges from $50 per hour and up.

SHIPPING AND PRODUCT CLASSES

Beer is typically shipped as Class 65 with NMFC code 111470. In certain situations the class may change. It is important to know your product’s class or NMFC code (National Motor Freight Classification) prior to booking freight.

LTL carriers determine your shipment rate by calculating your product’s class plus your product’s weight. Below are the most common classes or NMFC codes that breweries use for full pallets:

  • CLASS 65, NMFC CODE 111470 – BEER: FULL PRODUCT, GLASS OR CAN CASES, ALL KEG SIZES
  • (HB) CLASS 100, NMFC CODE 174610-06 – EMPTY KEGS: SHIP 3 PALLETS HIGH PER STACK. 1/2BBL KEGS
  • (SB) CLASS 92.5, NMFC CODE 174610-07 – EMPTY KEGS: SHIP 3 PALLETS HIGH PER STACK. 1/6BBL KEGS
  • (QB) CLASS 92.5, NMFC CODE 174610-07 – EMPTY KEGS: SHIP 3 PALLETS HIGH PER STACK. 1/4BBL KEGS
  • CLASS 60, NMFC CODE 73277 – FRUIT: PUREE
  • CLASS 70, NMFC CODE 99992 – HOPS: PELLETS COMPRESSED
  • CLASS 100, NMFC CODE 99992 – HOPS: LOOSE, FLOWERS, LIGHTER PER BOX
  • CLASS 70, NMFC CODE 87700-09 – GLASS: EMPTY BOTTLES, CARBOYS

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