Freight Class Calculator

People involved in shipping business are usually adept with freight class as this is a measuring system used in pricing and formulating the cost of shipping freight. A freight class calculator can make the job easier and only requires basic information to give you your freight’s class in seconds.

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How to use the freight class calculator?

This freight class calculator is an easy to use and handy online tool. It’s also known as a freight density calculator, a freight quote calculator or an NMFC class calculator. Even if it’s your first time to use this calculator, you’ll get the hang of it right away. Here are the steps to follow:

  • First, enter the value of the Length and choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu.
  • Then enter the value of the Width and choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu.
  • Next, enter the value of the Height and choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu.
  • Then enter the value of the Density and choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu.
  • Finally, enter the value of the Mass and choose the unit of measurement from the drop-down menu.
  • After entering all of the required values, the freight class calculator automatically generates the value of the Freight Class for you.

How do you calculate freight class?

You need some elementary concepts when calculating freights like solving volumes. Begin your calculations by finding out the dimensions of the pallet of the shipment. For discussion sake, let’s assume a pallet size with 3′ x 4′ x 5′ dimensions. Here are the next steps to calculate freight class without a freight density calculator:

  • Weigh the pallet. For our example, let’s assume it’s 300 pounds.
  • Solve for the volume of the pallet. Use the formula:

V = L x W x H.


V = 5 x 4 x 3 = 60 cubic feet.

  • Calculate the density of the pallet:

D = W/V

D = 300/60 = 5 pounds per cubic foot.

  • Compare the density value with a standard table to determine the correct freight class.

From the given table, you can determine the freight class. Now, examine this table value as there are still some other ways to optimize it to your advantage. Here are a few ideas to consider for a start:

  • Should the density of your cargo fall just short of the current freight class’ upper limit, you can add more weight from your palette. This results in a higher freight class, lower rates, and subsequently. for you will pay less.
  • Should the density be almost equal to the current freight class’ upper limit, you should take into account making your shipment a little bit more compact. Decreasing the volume even by a couple of cubic inches can lead to a cheaper freight class.
  • You can even check your cargo’s total volume. But keep in mind that the resulting cost doesn’t include additional fees like fees for fragile cargo or insurance.

What does freight class mean?

Freight classes are a way to categorize any shipment and you base this on the cargo’s weight and dimensions. Although you can perform manual calculations to determine the freight class of your shipment, using this freight quote calculator or NMFC class calculator is much easier.

These factors are directly correlated to the density of the shipment. As discussed earlier, the formula is:

D = W/V

D refers to the density
W refers to the weight
V refers to the volume

Denser cargos are usually categorized in higher classes. In general, higher-classed cargos cost less per pound. Therefore, it’s logical to make sure that your cargo will be as compact as possible. By the way, this freight class calculator gets its basis from the American NFMC or National Motor Freight Classification.

How do you calculate freight rates?

Freight rate refers to the price paid by the shipper of a given cargo so it can get delivered from one point to its destination. The calculations used to produce these freight prices depend on several factors:

  • The mode of transport. This can involve delivery by sea, road or air.
  • The form and nature of your cargo. This could be in the form of containerized cargo or loose cargo.
  • The volume and weight of your cargo.
  • The distance from the point of origin to the shipping destinations of your cargo.

For containerized sea freights, the goods may influence the cost whether they need a dedicated full container or an FCL or they can get consolidated along with other cargo or LCL. Let’s explain this a little bit more:

  • Full Container Load or FCL
    The term can speak for itself. Shipping firms usually charge a flat rate for a 20′ container, a 40′ container, and a 40′ High-Cube container. The cost also depends on several factors like origin, time of the year, volume, destination, and several other variables.
  • Less than Container Load or LCL
    This usually refers to containers which don’t have sufficient cargo to fill a whole shipping container. For many, the LCL is a very viable option. Specialists in LCL consolidators for sea freights operate services to all the major gateways and ports throughout the world.
    Their business involves paying the shipping line for a full container which they load and fill with consolidate several, smaller shipments collected in their warehouses. For the shipping line, this will just be the usual full container. For the consolidators, they earn a profit when they charge a proportional rate per 1 cubic meter or 1000 kilograms.

What is the NMFC code?

The design of the NMFC code system streamlines freight categorization as well as prices in the shipping industry. Shippers can avail of the NMFC item numbers so they can classify their goods, at the same time get pricings which are most accurate.

Keep an eye on the NMFC item number on the right on your bill of lading. This is essential when allocating the right shipping costs and in avoiding rate differences. The NMFTA is responsible for setting freight class based on handling, density, liability and stowability of the item, where all of the commodities fall under one of the eighteen classifications from class 50 to 500.