Freight classification, established by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, allows LTL carriers to establish standardized pricing for all shipments. It relies on four factors that determine the price: density, handling, stowability, and liability.
As one of the fundamental aspects of physics, density is a measurement of how tightly packed matter is. This helps explain why some items float on water and some sink in it, as well as how objects can weigh different amounts per cubic foot.
Density is a key factor in LTL shipping as it determines the freight class for your cargo. This is important because it can save you money, as you will be charged based on the space your cargo takes up on an LTL trailer instead of its weight alone. Shippers need to know how to calculate freight density before submitting a bill of lading (BOL). This is critical because an inaccurate density calculation can lead to costly inaccuracies on your BOL, which could result in penalties.
Stowability is the ability to stow cargo in a manner that protects it from damage. This is especially important for freight containing perishables and other goods that may be susceptible to damage or leakage during transit. When a truck’s cargo is stowed in the correct way, it can be delivered quickly and safely to its destination. This can help your business stay competitive and increase sales. LTL shipments are also less expensive than full truckload (FTL) shipments. This is because you only pay for space that your cargo occupies within a trailer.
To properly stow your shipments, make sure that they are properly labeled and packaged. Proper packaging and labeling will not only keep your shipments safe, but it will also make it easier for your freight carrier to track them. This will help you build relationships with your LTL shipping company and ensure that your shipments are delivered efficiently and on time.
In LTL shipping, the handling of a truck’s cargo is one of the most important factors that determines its freight class. Getting it wrong can result in extra charges or delays. Ease of Handling considers how simple or difficult it is to handle the cargo at terminals and warehouses. This is a factor in how much time it takes for dock workers to load and unload the shipment, and it can also be affected by fragility and hazardous materials.
Liability, in short, refers to the probability that a shipment will be stolen or damaged during transit. This can be especially true for perishable items or shipments that are highly combustible. While there are limitations and exceptions, the burden of proof typically lies on the shippers.