What is Freight class, Its different types and How to Calculate?

Freight Class

In the world of commerce, freight class is a standard that enables for the simple comparison of various goods that are being transported. It is the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) that determines the categorization of freight and publishes the National Motor Freight Classification to do so. 

Designed to standardize transportation rates, freight classes use in LTL (less-than-truckload) shipping to apply uniform expenses. In total, there are 18 shipment classes ranging in size from class 50 to 500. With the cost of shipping decreasing as the class number decreases.

In the article below let us learn more about the different types of freight class and how to calculate the freight class of your package to be delivered.

Different Types of Freight Class

There are a total of 18 different types of freight classes and each of them has specific objects assigned to transport. The classification of freight has determined on the basis of four factors namely, density, storability, liability and ease of handling.

All of them cannot explain here what kind of objects they are assigning based on the defining factors. However, a brief description of 2 major types of freight classes (the lowest and the highest class) are described below.

Freight Class 50

Class 50 applies exclusively to the most dense and easiest transportable items to  freight. A cargo must be able to fit on a standard 4×4 pallet to qualify for class 50. Industrial products like nuts, bolts, and steel rods, or thick packed materials like flour or concrete are examples of freight class 50 items. 

Freight Class 500

Class 500 freight class is the highest freight classification class available. Being the highest one, freight class 500 is ultimately the most costly freight to deliver. Class 500 of freight has referred to as high value and low density freight because all the items that have a low density while determining the freight come under it. 

In freight with the highest freight class i.e. 500, the weight range per cubic foot should be less than one pound, in order to fall under its category. The items that are usually under the class 500 of freight include lightweight and light density objects. Such as ping pong balls or bags of gold dust.

How to Calculate Freight Class

Thus you see determining the freight class if your items to be transported is essential in oer to avoid extra charges as well as for the proper delivery according to their ease of handling.  

To identify the freight class of your delivery package the digital method applied is to use an online freight class calculator. How to calculate your freight class using the freight class calculator is as follow.

Measure Dimensions

The first and foremost step to perform is to measure the dimensions of your package. Whether you are going to calculate the freight class for your package manually. Or using a calculator to measure all the dimensions accurately.

The metrics that have measured for freight class calculations include length, width, weight, and height. While measuring dimensions, be sure to take measurements in the same unit. 

If you have measured length in (cm), then also measure the remaining metrics. This will happen by using the centimeters scale. In the same manner, if you have chosen to calculate height in inches then weight, length and width should also calculate in inches.

Open Calculator

Calculating your freight class manually could be tiresome and the chances of miscalculations are also present, Thus choose an ups freight class calculator instead and perform calculations there.

Input Values

After browsing through a good freight calculator offered by calculatored, enter the measured quantities. A good tip is to double-check all the values you are entering and make sure height we input in its box rather than any other metric.


Now, simply click on the calculate option provided beneath and TA-DA. The freight class of your package will be provided to you without indulging in any kind of calculations.

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