Home > Freight 101 Library > Freight Class Density Calculator

Freight Class Density Calculator

Use Freightos’ free freight class calculator for instant freight class quotes based on your shipment’s weight & density.

Loading…

Determining Freight Class Based On Freight Density

Weight and cubic volume play a key factor in U.S. domestic carrier freight charges. To instantly get freight density and (density product) freight class, simply type in your shipment’s total weight and dimensions (including pallets). Our freight class calculator can help you determine the freight class of your shipment.

  • This freight class density calculator is a guideline for the range of commodities classified as “density products”.
  • Products requiring special handling, stowing or liability requirements will have a different class. To confirm freight classes, contact NMFTA.
  • Not all US trucking companies use freight class. Click here for those carriers that use dimensional weight.

Freight Class List and Factors: Density, Stowability, Handling, and Liability

In the realm of shipping and logistics, the establishment of freight class is a crucial component, primarily governed by density within the National Motor Freight Association (NMFTA) freight classification system. However, the classification process involves not just density but a quartet of interrelated factors that together provide a comprehensive understanding of the nature of the cargo being transported.

Density, as the primary determinant, signifies the concentration of mass within a given volume and serves as a pivotal factor. It allows shippers and carriers to assess the space a shipment will occupy and the weight it adds to the transport vehicle. High-density cargo occupies less space and is typically more cost-effective to transport.

Stowability, another essential aspect, evaluates the ease with which a particular cargo can be arranged within a shipping container or transport vehicle. Efficient stowability enhances loading and unloading processes, optimizing the use of space and resources.

Handling, the third factor, pertains to the specific requirements and considerations for transporting and managing the cargo. Some items demand special handling procedures, such as refrigeration, fragile packaging, or careful stacking, adding an additional layer of complexity to the shipping process.

Liability, the fourth element, comes into play when the cargo’s value or the risk of damage or loss is exceptionally high. Understanding the liability associated with a shipment is critical for both shippers and carriers, as it can influence insurance coverage and the level of care and protection the cargo receives during transit.

These four interconnected factors – density, stowability, handling, and liability – constitute the foundation of the freight classification system, enabling precise categorization of cargo and determining the most efficient and cost-effective way to transport goods while ensuring their safe and secure delivery to their destination.

Stowability

  • Some items cannot be loaded together.
  • Hazardous materials must be shipped in a particular way.
  • Excessive weight, length or protrusions can make freight impossible to load with other freight.
  • The absence of load-bearing surfaces can make freight impossible to stack.
  • For any of these instances, a stow-ability classification applies.

Handling

  • Most freight is loaded with mechanical equipment and poses no handling difficulties, but some freight – due to weight, shape, fragility, or hazardous properties – requires special attention.
  • For any of these instances, a handling classification applies, based on the degree of difficulty with loading or carrying.

Liability

  • Some freight is more susceptible to theft.
  • Some freight is fragile, perishable, or susceptible to damaging adjacent freight – including cargo prone to spontaneous combustion or explosion.
  • Liability-classified commodities fall into several freight classes, depending upon density.

Get free global shipping rates in seconds

Other Freight Class Essentials

  • Freight class makes a big difference to freight costs. For instance, a shipment weighing one hundredweight that would cost $25 in class 50, would cost double that in class 125, and ten times that in class 500.
  • Adjusting weight can lead to big freight savings by adding enough weight to slip into the next PCF range. That’s because heavier weight classes cost less per pound.
  • Reducing dimensions can also lead to big freight savings. Check out common pallet and box sizes, and try to use the smallest suitable box and pallet size.
  • Using the wrong freight class can cause problems: like extra freight costs, freight claim complications, and carrier re-billings (extra costs, potential shipment delays, invoice discrepancies).

In addition to our free freight class calculator, check out other free Freightos shipping tools, including HS Code lookup, explanation of incoterms, and both general freight rate and Amazon FBA-specific freight rate calculators as well as our freight transit time calculator and shipping cost estimator

Freight Class Chart

The following table is a general guide, listing common commodities in each of the 18 classes. The pounds per cubic feet (PCF) ranges are correct for density products.

FREIGHT CLASS EXAMPLES OF COMMODITIESPCF RANGE   
50Gravel. Sheetrock. Common building bricks. Flour, cornmeal.50+
55Terrazzo/concrete tiles, bricks, cement, mortar, hardwood flooring.35-50
60Machinery in crates. School crayons in boxes. Paperback books.30-35
65Bottled beverages. Books in boxes. Wood/cement roofing tile.22.5-30
70Metal castings. Car carriers, luggage racks. Food items. Automobile engines.15-22.5
77.5Tires. Bathroom fixtures.  T-shirts/clothing >12lbs PCF.13.5-15
85Prepared food. Cotton/synthetic cloth fibre, bales, rolls.12-13.5
92.5Electric toothbrushes. Computers, etc (value up to $5/lb). Refrigerators.10.5-12
100Used household goods. Boat/car seat, hood, etc covers. Wine cases, caskets.9-10.5
110Paintings of low value. Cabinets. Framed artwork. Table saws.8-9
125Wooden furniture. Small household appliances.7-8
150Clothing. Auto sheet metal parts. Computers, etc (value up to $10/lb).6-7
175Fish Tanks, aquariums. Clothing. Couches, stuffed furniture.5-6
200Ground/polished optical lenses. Packaged mattresses.4-5
250Bamboo furniture. Plasma televisions. Computers, etc (value up to $25/lb).3-4
300Stuffed animals. Wood cabinets, tables, chairs.2-3
400Bags of potato chips or popcorn. Deer antlers.1-2
500Acid solutions containing dissolved silver, gold, palladium. Ping pong balls.< 1

Was this the Freightos shipment measurement tool that you were looking for? We have similar tools for calculating your shipment’s cubic meter volume (CBM Calculator).

Ready to start comparing rates instantly across multiple forwarders?

Get a demo of Freightos.com’s Enterprise Shipper capabilities

Freightos.com helps you spend less time and money on each shipment, reducing spend with better:

  • Improved selection across price, mode, vendor, performance metrics on each shipment
  • Reduced management time with on-demand documentat management and tracking
  • Real-time service through automated services, real-time chat, and integrated messaging options
  • Powerful payment options, including credit, batch processing, reconcilations and more.

Complete this form to request a free demo

Back to top