The National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. (NMFTA) has released ClassIT, a new online version of the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC). The NMFC is used to classify all the commodities shipped and handled by motor freight carriers in North America.

Carriers that use the NMFC in a structured program have been able to accurately forecast costs to their customers while increasing profitability. Shippers using the Classification know the basis for their pricing. They also know that the NMFC is designed to promote an equitable distribution of the transportation burden and, consequently, the fair treatment of all shippers.

ClassIT is the online version of the NMFC, with a variety of additional powerful features making the Classification easier and faster to use, such as: 

  • Multiple Search Capabilities, including:
  • Quick SearchProvides a fast search of the articles listed in the NMFC Index and returns a listing of potential matches.
  • Advanced Search Searches all text within Articles, Rules, Packages and Participating Carriers based on user choices and returns a listing of potential matches.
  • Both search functions also allow you to add your own terms linked to classification items or other terms, as well as an embedded list of common terms that are not found in the NMFC. This represents a dynamic index to speed finding the information needed.
  • Easy navigation through hyperlinks allows users to see entire product groupings to ensure the proper description and class. Each link opens a new browser window allowing for simultaneous viewing of different parts of the NMFC.
  • Synonyms allow users to customize and individualize ClassIT by tying familiar, commonly used terms to existing commodity names and numbers making future searches easier.
  • The Density Calculator enables users to determine the density of a package, pallet or complete shipment in seconds.
  • The print function allows users to print each window and portions of text can be copied and pasted into other documents.
  • Online help and an email function that sends your queries directly to the NMFTA Classification Specialists.

Central Transport International was one of the beta testers of ClassIT. Dave Rodewald, Manager of Pricing Applications for Central stated, "ClassIT is well designed by classification professionals, and it shows. The product is intuitive and users quickly feel comfortable. It is great for experienced classification professionals, because they can be more productive. It also makes it easier for less experienced classification users, because the computer does the searches. We can define synonyms in ClassIT, so we enter terms that mean more to our people. ClassIT allows us to get our work done twice as fast as anything we have used before."

NMFTA Executive Director William Pugh stated, "ClassIT has already been shown to improve productivity in the classification process by 50% to 100%. ClassIT is priced to be more than affordable for large or small transportation entities."

The Classification is a valuable tool that facilitates comparisons of the transportability of commodities moving in intrastate, interstate and foreign commerce. Commodities are assigned one of 18 classes from a low of 50 to a high of 500 based on four transportation characteristics: density, stowability, handling and liability. The NMFC is a standard which comprises one of the two components of motor carrier pricing systems. The price for shipping goods is determined by referring first to the classes included in the NMFC and then consulting the applicable motor carrier rate schedules. These rate schedules are in turn dependent on factors such as shipment weight and the route and distance over which the shipment moves. The NMFC also includes rules and packaging requirements for each type of commodity to ensure adequate protection for products moving in LTL motor carrier service.

The provisions of the NMFC constitute industry standards, which are developed and maintained by the National Classification Committee (NCC), an autonomous standing committee of 100 carrier representatives who are elected to represent the more than 1100 motor carriers participating in the NMFC. The NCC's activities are regulated by the United States Surface Transportation Board.

For 50 years, NMFTA and NCC have been the organizations exclusively responsible for the contents of the Classification. The NMFC is published annually and supplemented periodically throughout the year. NMFTA will continue to be the sole source for the printed version of the NMFC.

An annual license for ClassIT is available to NMFC motor carrier participants at $159 for a single user. Shippers or third party logistics companies may purchase a single-user license for ClassIT at $199. Multi-user discounts are available.

For more information on ClassIT, go to and click on the NMFTA Store. The web site contains complete licensing information, pricing and a product demonstration. For additional information, call NMFTA's toll free customer service number at 1-866-411-NMFC (6632).

In order to use the provisions of the NMFC and ClassIT, motor carriers must become participants in the Classification and may do so by contacting NMFTA. NMFTA is a nonprofit membership association representing 1100 less-than-truckload carriers throughout North America and is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.