Air Cargo Quarterly
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NMFTA to publish National Motor Freight Classification
The National Motor Freight Traffic Association will begin publishing the new issue of the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) NMF 100-AF in November, 2005. NMFTA is a nonprofit membership association representing less-than-truckload carriers throughout North America. The NMFC is known as the “definitive industry standard” by carriers and shippers alike for classifying goods for transport in North America. Carriers that use the NMFC in a structured program have been able to accurately forecast costs to their customers while increasing profitability.NMFTA has been assembling the data and compiling the material that underlies the Classification for nearly 50 years. However, until this year, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) owned the copyright to the Classification and arranged for its marketing and sales. In 2005, NMFTA bought the copyright to the NMFC from ATA. NMFTA conducted a detailed business analysis early this year and determined it could dramatically reduce the cost of production and pass the savings to its members and other purchasers of the NMFC.
In August of 2005, NMFTA’s Board of Directors voted to allow NMFTA to publish in-house and sell the NMFC. The new issue will begin shipping in November of this year and have an effective date of December 24, 2005.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to market and sell our own work product,” stated William Pugh, Executive Director of NMFTA. “For many years the NMFTA was considered primarily the organization which was responsible for acting on the behalf of its members to research, develop, and maintain the classifications that comprise the NMFC. Now we will be able to serve our members more effectively, as we bring new value-added products to market that are designed to save money for shippers and carriers and enhance the profitability of our industry.”
The NMFC classifies all types of goods and materials transported by truck in North America. The Classification is a valuable tool that facilitates comparisons of the transportability of commodities moving in intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce. Commodities are assigned one of 18 classes—from a low of 50 to a high of 500—based on four transportation characteristics: density, stowability, handling and liability. The NMFC comprises one of the two components of motor carrier pricing systems. The price for shipping goods is determined by referring to the classes included in the NMFC in combination with motor carrier rate schedules, which are in turn dependent on factors such as shipment weight and the route and distance over which the shipment moves.
The NMFC also includes packaging requirements for each type of commodity to ensure adequate protection for products moving in LTL motor carrier service. In order to use the provisions of the NMFC, motor carriers must become participants and they do so through NMFTA.
The classification provisions of the NMFC constitute industry standards which are developed and maintained by the National Classification Committee (NCC), an autonomous standing committee of 100 carrier representatives who are elected represent the over 1100 motor carriers participating in the NMFC. The NCC is regulated by the United States Surface Transportation Board.
The NMFC can be purchased by participants in the NMFC for $119.00 and non-participants for $160.00, plus $16.50 for shipping and handling. It contains more than 8000 product classifications and 750 pages of material. For more information on the NMFC or to purchase a copy, go to www.nmfta.org or call 1-866-411-NMFC (6632).
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