About ClassIT and the NMFC

What is the NMFC®?

The National Motor Freight Classification® and ClassIT®, the online version of the NMFC, are standards tools that provide a comparison of commodities moving in interstate, intrastate and foreign transport. Based on an evaluation of density, stowability, ease of handling and liability, the commodities are grouped into one of 18 classes. The NMFC and ClassIT provide both carriers and shippers with a standard by which to begin negotiations and greatly simplify the comparative evaluation of the many thousands of products moving in today’s marketplace.

How Are Changes Made and Who Makes Them?

Changes to the Classification are made in open public meetings by the Commodity Classification Standards Board (CCSB). Any person may propose a change to the Classification and appear at any meeting or submit statements expressing a point of view regarding a Classification proposal. Further, changes to the NMFC are easily and expeditiously made.

Who Participates in the NMFC?

Participation in the National Motor Freight Classification allows a carrier to use or reference the NMFC in their rate schedules or contracts with their customers. Participation is accomplished by the completion of a license agreement, authorizing NMFTA to publish the carrier’s participation in the NMFC, and payment of an annual fee. Only those carriers that are bona fide participants in the classification may use or refer to its provisions. Participation may be verified by utilizing the “Carrier” search feature in the Advanced Search function.

When is Participation Required?

The NMFC is copyrighted by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. As such, participation by means of the execution of a license agreement is required of any carrier that uses or references any provision that is contained in the National Motor Freight Classification, including its commodity descriptions, classes, rules, packaging specifications or bills of lading. Use of the NMFC by any non-participating carrier to determine rates or charges is a violation of the copyright and license agreement. In order for any carrier to use the NMFC in pricing or for any other purpose, they must participate.

Application of Provisions

To be applicable, a commodity description must “match” the product that is being shipped. In many cases, more than one description can apply to a given product.  In such instances, you must review the potential descriptions and apply the one that most specifically describes the article in question. Some commodity descriptions are very specific and limit their application to particular products, such as commodities of a particular material construction, or commodities in a particular form of shipment, i.e., set up (SU) or knocked down (KD). Other descriptions are general, usually referred to as “NOI” (not more specifically described herein) provisions, and embrace broad groups of commodities. For example, since no specific description exists for “plastic bottles,” the provisions of item 156600, naming “Plastic Articles, NOI, other than expanded,” apply.