Learn what role NMFC numbers play when shipping LTL Freight.
The National Motor Freight Transportation Agency (NMFTA.org) maintains a directory of commodities, or in layman's terms "things you might ship", titled the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) Directory. The directory identifies the freight class and NMFC number for each commodity. NMFC numbers are more granular than freight classes. Many NMFC numbers will be associated with each freight class. An NMFC number can be thought of as a commodity's sub-class.
NMFC numbers usually aren't required to obtain a freight quote; providing a freight class is usually sufficient. However, carriers may require that a NMFC number be provided on accounts that have a history of misclassified shipments or if certain commodities are of concern. Regardless of whether or not NMFC numbers are required, it is a good idea to identify the NMFC numbers of the commodities shipped on the Bill Of Lading. Doing so reduces the likelihood that the carrier will re-class the shipment which can lead to significant differences (sometimes hundreds of dollars) between the quoted and invoiced amounts.