& FREIGHT CLASS
you need us to look up the NMFC# for your shipment?
is the NMFC?
NATIONAL MOTOR FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION (NMFC) is a
pricing tool that provides a comparison of commodities
moving in interstate and intrastate transport. Based on
an evaluation of density, stowability, ease of handling
and liability, the commodities are grouped into one of
18 classes. The NMFC provides both carriers and shippers
with a standard by which to begin pricing negotiations
and greatly simplifies the comparative evaluation of the
many thousands of products moving in today's marketplace.
CLASSIFICATION AS A GROUP OF COMMODITIES - Classification
establishes groupings of virtually all commodities that
move in commerce. It is similar in concept to the groupings
or grading systems that serve many other industries. Whether
purchasing beef from a supermarket, lumber from a lumberyard
or diamonds from a jeweler, the customer benefits greatly
from the grading or grouping of these commodities that
is provided by a standards-setting organization. The difference
between freight classification and most other standards-setting
activities is that the Classification, while not a rate-making
or price-fixing activity itself, is useful in establishing
pricing, and this activity is conducted by competitors.
This is why the Classification has received a limited
exemption from the antitrust laws.
CHANGES TO THE NMFC - Changes to the Classification
are made in open public meetings by the National Classification
Committee or one of its Classification Panels. Any person
may propose a change to the Classification and appear
at any meeting or submit statements expressing a point
of view regarding a Classification proposal. Further,
changes to the NMFC are easy and expeditiously made. And,
any interested person who is dissatisfied with the disposition
of a proposal by a Classification Panel has the automatic
right to appeal the Panel's action, first to the full
NCC and then to a government agency.
FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION IS A PRO-COMPETITIVE SYSTEM
- The Classification is a pro-competitive system that
catalogues and equitably groups all commodities moving
in commerce into 18 classes (classes 50 through 500) according
to their "transportability," as reflected by
the four composite transportation characteristics prescribed
by the ICC and the Department of Transportation's Surface
Transportation Board. These characteristics are as follows:
1) density; 2) stowability; 3) ease or difficulty in handling;
and 4) liability.
CLASSIFICATION ALSO PROVIDES UNIFORM RULES, PACKAGING
PROVISIONS AND BILL OF LADING FORMATS - These groupings
establish equitable relationships between commodities.
This information assists the carriers and shippers in
negotiating pricing. In fact, the Classification has been
supported by the market for many years because it works
well for carriers and their customers. The Congress has
specifically recognized this feature of the Classification.
THE CLASSIFICATION IS NOT A REVENUE GENERATING DEVICE
- Critics of the Classification erroneously argue that
it is used only to generate revenue for the carriers.
This is wrong. While the Classification provides information
that is used to support pricing determinations, the classification
process does not set prices and, in fact, gives no consideration
to economic factors such as rates, revenues or charges,
etc. In fact, a review of the classification proposals
handled over the past 6 years reveals that a substantial
majority involved changes other than class increases.
For more information regarding NMFC#'s and classification,
visit National Motor Freight Traffic Association at the