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Are You Ready for Density-Based Freight Classification Changes in LTL?


Warehouse worker operating a forklift surrounded by large crates, illustrating the importance of accurate measurements for Density-Based Freight Classification.

For many years freight movers have heard rumor that the NMFTA is going to move more towards density-based classification.

Current Standard: NMFC Classing

Currently, NMFC classing is the traditional standard for classing freight. Freight items are assigned a class number designated by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, ranging from 50 to 500. Generally speaking, the lower the class the lower the cost of shipping. These numbers are constantly changing and can be somewhat arbitrary.


Modern Standard: Density Classing

The more modern and arguably more consistent form of classing is the density classing standard. This classing system is based on an item’s density, a rating based on an item’s dimensions and weight.


NMFTA's "Classification Reimagination" Project

Recently NMFTA announced their “Classification Reimagination” project; an effort to move more towards density as a basis for classification. Density-based classification is no longer a rumor. The NMFTA announced major changes in first quarter of 2025.


Impact on the Industry

According to Scooter Sayers, “these changes will have a big impact on carriers, shippers, 3PLs and tech providers such as TMS firms.” He also predicts, it will be “a requirement that shippers provide the weight and dimensions of each individual handling unit (how else can you compute density?)”


Ensuring Accurate Weights and Dimensions

How does a shipper assure accurate weights and dimensions? There are lots of “slick” tools out there. One of, if not the most accurate solutions is a dimernsioner that uses laser or infrared technology to obtain accurate measurements, detailed photos, and essential shipment data in a matter of seconds.


PLP's Dimensioner Solution

PLP, in its efforts to stay on the leading edge of industry technology is offering an affordable dimensioner solution in tandem with its LTL service. This ensures proper weights and dims which is useful in reducing, reclasses and reweighs and minimizing carrier billing disputes. Using dimensioner technology will only become more and more necessary as the industry moves towards density-based pricing in the very near future.


Contact Information

Contact PLP for more information.

678.921.8181

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