Freight Class De-mystified

If you ever shipped something through a commercial carrier - you are definitely familiar with Freight Classes. This classification was created to simplify load optimization for carriers and became a nightmare for online retailers.

Whether you dropship or ship from your warehouse Freight Class plays a prominent role in calculating your shipping charges. Classes are defined in National Motor Freight Classification Tariff (NMFC) and are pretty complex. Check the link and imagine you are doing it for every product you sell...

Frequently, Freight All Kinds will be a win-win. You avoid a pain of classifying thousands of your products and carrier saves on class verification. Here are some of the ways to get carrier on your side:

  • Ask your account representative to explain how freight class impacts your pricing. Go into extreme detail about your business and discuss all possible scenarios.
  • Find the most typical class and assign it to all the shipments (in our case FAK70 was the most appropriate one).
  • If shipper is hesitant to assigning a single class to all your shipments - negotiate FAK on the vendor/ product line level (for example, Powell - Platform Bed).
  • Define the invoice verification process so that there is a simple way to correct discount if a mistake in class determination happened.

If you still have difficulties getting a simple pricing - keep in mind - you are in the retail business, not transportation. Talk to Freight Forwarders. They may be able to leverage their current shipping volume and get you good discounts along with FAK.

Outsource troubles, focus on sales. Thriving is fun.

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