NMFC Rules and Requirements

NMFC Rules and Requirements

The National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) is the freight "Bible" for motor carriers and contains rules, packaging requirements, approved freight descriptions, and freight class definitions for all commodities. Freight class of any commodity is determined based on the following:

  • Density
  • Load Ability and Handling Characteristics
  • Value
  • Susceptibility to Damage

All carriers strictly require an accurate NMFC description, NMFC Item Number, and corresponding class on the Bill of Lading (BOL) for each item included on a shipment. Follow these guidelines to avoid re-classification and potentially higher freight charges.

  1. Verify that the freight description matches the accurate NMFC freight description for the item being shipped.
  2. Verify that the NMFC freight item number is accurate. If the freight item number has a sub which describes PCF or Value/Released Value, be sure to accurately note the sub number and PCF or Value/Released Value on the BOL.
  3. Verify that the freight class corresponds to the NMFC freight item number and sub as listed on the BOL.
  4. If multiple freight items are shipped together (either on the same pallet or separately), each NMFC item description, NMFC item number, and the corresponding weights must be listed separately on the BOL. If this is not done, all freight will be rated as the highest class item in the shipment.
  5. Show the freight dimensions, if available, as a safeguard to ensure the freight is rated accurately should there be any conflict in NMFC description or NMFC item number.
  6. Always ensure the weight(s) are accurate.

These guidelines are becoming the rules among many LTL carriers. Abiding by them now will help prevent freight expenses from being calculated incorrectly.