Changes in NMFC Classifications

The Commodity Classification Standards Board of the NMFTA recently approved a couple of changes that will have far reaching effects on LTL shipments of certain commodities in the National Motor Freight Classification that are based on density ratings, for example, Plastic or Rubber Articles, Expanded, NOI (157320). Previously, most items assigned a class based on density were subject to one of two tables. The so called 9-tier classification broke down density into 9 sub ratings as follows:

Sub 1Less than 1400
Sub 21 but less than 2300
Sub 32 but less than 4250
Sub 44 but less than 6150
Sub 56 but less than 8125
Sub 68 but less than 10100
Sub 710 but less than 1292.5
Sub 812 but less than 1585
Sub 915 or greater70

The 11-tier classification contained 11 density breakdowns:

Sub 1Less than 1400
Sub 21 but less than 2300
Sub 32 but less than 4250
Sub 44 but less than 6150
Sub 56 but less than 8125
Sub 68 but less than 10100
Sub 710 but less than 1292.5
Sub 812 but less than 1585
Sub 915 but less than 22.570
Sub 1022.5 but less than 3065
Sub 1130 or greater60

Effective August 5, the 9-tier breakdown will go away and NMFC items subject to it will be replaced by the 11 tier breakdown. This change is actually good news for shippers, as it provides for a lower class for shipments that are very dense, specifically over 22.5 lbs per cubic foot.

The other change however is not so favorable. The 11-tier breakdown will change the sub 4 rating for articles that have a density of 4 but less than 6 pounds per cubic foot. Previously this was rated as a class 150, but will now be rated at a class 175:

NTS

For shippers whose LTL shipments were previously rated at a class 150 based on density and will now be rated at a class 175, this represents about a 15% increase in freight rates. For shippers with an FAK rating of 150, this should not change that rating, but items that were previously in the actual class range may now change. For example if a shipper has an FAK class 100 rating on items with an actual class of 100-150, and they ship Plastic Articles with a density of 4-6 pcf, this shipment will no longer be subject to the FAK class 100 and will instead move at the actual class of 175. This change is also to be effective August 5, 2017.

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