The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) announced that on Monday, March 11, 2024, the Freight Classification Development Council (FCDC) will conduct a public meeting in Colorado Springs, CO. This meeting will discuss proposals for amending the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC®) and ClassIT®, as listed in FCDC Docket 2024-1. Industry professionals are invited to attend the FCDC meeting or submit a written statement sharing comments on proposed changes.

The NMFC is a system for classifying less-than-truckload (LTL) freight based on its ‘transportability’ and has been in existence since 1936 when it was created from the classification used by the rails. The NMFC looks at a commodity or commodity group’s density, handling, stowability, and liability and provides one or more of 18 classes for those provisions.

Shippers becoming familiar with classification and having confidence in placing the correct item number and freight class on a bill of lading is vital to avoid accessorial charges from reweighs or damage. Thereby reducing costs and providing predictability in overall shipping costs.

In addition to shippers avoiding extra fees, the NMFC provides minimum packaging requirements for different commodities. When the correct item is identified, and the packaging requirements are met, potential freight damage can also be avoided.

Docket 2024-1 will consist of the following points:

• Large generic heading overhauls.

• Consolidation of additional generic and subgeneric headings.

• Various items that will be canceled or established for clarification and simplification.

• Several item clarifications and updates.

• Two proposals deferred from Docket 2023-3.

During this meeting, the FCDC will review the consolidation of additional items under the foodstuffs group, and this docket will contain a large consolidation of two of the agricultural implements groups.

Further headings, both generic and subgeneric, that will be reviewed include:

• Conveyors, Elevators, Lifts or Parts thereof

• Presses

• Household Utensils

• Vehicle Parts

Various items are cancelled or established for clarification and simplification:

• Welders and Torches

• Pools and Pool Kits

• Coolers

• Radiotelephones; Cellular Telephones

“Ultimately, shippers who are comfortable with using and understanding the NMFC can approach LTL shipments with better confidence,” shared Adam Mercer, classification development manager at NMFTA.

Those interested in submitting a written statement, featuring comments on proposed changes, can do so via mail or email. The FCDC must receive them by 5:00 pm ET on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. Statements should include pertinent information relating to the transportation characteristics–density, handling, stowability, and liability–of the product(s) involved or relevant to packaging materials or methods in connection with proposed packaging amendments. All submissions received by the deadline will be included in the respective public docket file and posted on the NMFTA website. The statements will be reviewed and discussed by the FCDC at the public meeting.