Freight Class Calculator

Created by Bogna Szyk
Reviewed by Steven Wooding and Jack Bowater
Last updated: Jun 05, 2023

With this freight class calculator, you will never be surprised by freight quotas again. It is a tool that, using a pallet's weight and dimensions, calculates the class of your freight in a blink of an eye. If you are new to the shipping business and have no idea how to calculate freight class, have no worries - we will explain it to you in no time at all!

What is the freight class?

Freight classes are a way to categorize any shipment based on its dimensions and weight. They are directly correlated to the density of the consignment: the denser your cargo is, the higher the class. Typically, higher classes are charged less per pound, so you should make sure that your cargo is as compact as possible.

Our freight class calculator is based on the American NFMC (National Motor Freight Classification).

How do you calculate freight class?

To calculate the freight class:

  1. Begin with determining the dimensions of one pallet in your shipment. For example, we can assume that you are shipping boxes that are 3 ft x 4 ft x 5 ft in size.
  2. Weigh the pallet. Let's assume that it weighs 260 lbs. If you need to convert weight units, you can use our weight converter.
  3. Calculate the volume of your pallet by multiplying its dimensions by each other or by using our volume calculator. In this case:
    3 * 4 * 5 = 60 cu ft.
  4. Divide the weight by the volume of the cargo to calculate the density: 260/60 = 4.33 lb/cu ft.
  5. Compare this value with the table above to find the appropriate freight class. In this case, your shipment belongs to freight class 200.

Further steps

Now that you know the freight class of your cargo, you should take a closer look at it. Maybe you'll be able to optimize it? Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • If the cargo density is just below the upper limit of the current freight class (for example, 7.98 lb/cu ft), adding just a bit of weight to the pallet will result in a higher class and, subsequently, in lower freight rates. It is possible that you will have to pay less in the end!
  • Alternatively, if the density is almost equal to the upper limit of the freight class, you can consider compacting your shipment a tiny bit more. Reducing the volume by a few cubic inches will result in a more economical freight class.
  • You can also check out the CBM calculator to calculate the total volume of your cargo.

If you open the advanced mode of our freight class calculator, you will be able to input the freight rate per unit weight. The calculator automatically determines the freight cost. Note that it doesn't consider any additional payments such as insurance or fragile cargo fees - it is simply the lowest possible sum you have to pay to get your cargo shipped.

Bogna Szyk
Pallet specifications
Freight class
lb/cu ft
Freight class
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