Freight Class: Part 1- Low Freight Class

Freight class is crucial to shipping and very little is known about what it actually means, so I am writing a series on the topic.  I will outline why some freight have high and low freight class.  Then I will write a few blogs on density, value, and packaging based freight class.

Last week a new customer used the ShippingDiscounts.com quote finder to get a quote for his LTL freight shipment of stone on pallets; he was worried that his freight shipment across the West coast would be expensive because it was so heavy.  However, due to the low freight class of stone (freight class 50) the cost to ship the stone was not nearly as high as he expected.  It is important to have the correct freight class; a heavy freight shipment does not always mean expensive LTL freight rates.

Freight class has a lot to do with the density and the fragileness of the shipment.  A lot of times this means that the heaviest LTL freight shipments are freight classed very low, which keeps the cost of shipping relatively low.

For example, an automobile engine strapped to a pallet has a freight class of 85 because it is so dense.   The high density of most engines allows them to ship at a fairly low class.  Density is calculated by dividing the weight by the volume.  Therefore, any freight that takes up relatively little space but weighs a lot would have a high density and be more likely to have a lower class.  Some freight is even classed based on its density; I will be posting a blog about density classed freight soon.

The other important factor in determining class is the fragileness of the item being shipped.  This week I quoted a potential customer that wants to ship dog food.  Because dog food is not very fragile and fairly dense it was classed at 92.5.  In addition, many agricultural products, fertilizers and grains have a low  freight class (generally freight classes 55-85) because of their durability.

Look forward to my High Freight Class blog in a few days!

Leave a Reply