LTL Freight Classification: Changes in 2014

If you ship LTL freight, you’re likely aware of the direct impact that your shipment’s freight classification has on the cost required to ship it, but you may not be aware of the organization and processes that actually determine the classification for the commodity you ship. Believe it or not, your commodity is constantly at risk of having its classification changed – and you need to stay in the loop. We can help!

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) is the group that maintains and publishes the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) guidelines, which outline the LTL freight class for every commodity you could possibly ship here on planet Earth.

Here’s what you may not know: Every year, a group at the NMFTA called the CCSB (Commodity Classification Standards Board) meets and goes over potential classification changes, either voting them into effectiveness, or rejecting the changes. Based on the density, handling, stowability, and liability of a commodity, it may be decided that the previous classification was not an accurate fit. LTL carriers play a huge role in this process, being the ones actually out there on the road, shipping LTL freight – they’re in constant contact with the NMFTA with ideas on which commodities to review in their meetings.

The official commodity classification changes for January 2014 were published last month and are available on It can be a little overwhelming sorting through the document with all the changes up for review, so we did the leg work and made a list of all the commodities that actually had their class changes approved. They are as follows:

Iron or Steel Bars, Rods, or Wire (welding)
Aluminum or sheet steel wastebaskets and receptacles
Bread crumb products, like stuffing/dressing, dry bread crumbs, and croutons
Children’s potty seats and toilet trainer seats
Metallic or wooden stands (furniture)
Helicopter rotor blades and other propeller blades
Pallets, platforms, racks, skids
Household pails and mop wringers, non-plastic
Plastic or rubber articles, blocks, forms or shapes

If you ship one of the affected commodities, please let us know and we’ll get you more details about the change! One of the perks of using Trinity's LTL Services on your LTL shipments is that we’ll keep you in the loop on these classification changes. We’re constantly looking out for our customers – if we notice your commodity is on the docket list, you’ll likely be hearing from us. This is just another way we’re able to provide a higher level of service to our customers as a complete 3PL solution.

If you have any questions about the most recent classification changes or want to talk to us more about how this process works, you can contact us here! If you’re concerned that your commodity's classification is having a negative impact on your shipping costs, we welcome you to request an LTL shipping quote here and see if our rates can help you save some money – there’s a good chance they will.