Freight Terminology for Pros – Understanding NMFC Numbers and Descriptions

Freight Terminology for Pros – Understanding NMFC Numbers and Descriptions

LTL Pro Tip # 34

Leaving the NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification) off of a BOL (Bill of Lading) can get you reclassed to 150.

As noted below from a National LTL carrier, if you leave off the description and/or NMFC, the item may be subject to a minimum class 150 being applied for rating.

Be sure to have the proper NMFC description, class, and NMFC Item Number as well as dimensions on each load for a proper rating.

When our clients use our TMS platform, they should be doing the same thing, as it is the responsibility of the shipper to properly fill out the Bill of Lading with the correct information.


I can assure you, if you put the wrong info on the Bill of Lading, you will get a W&I (weights and inspections) fee and/or the wrong rate.

What is an adequate description?  Here’s a direct quote from the NMFC publication:

"When the commodity description on a bill of lading fails to conform to the item 360, section 2 of the NMF 100 such that the commodity(s) shipped cannot be identified, the shipment may be subject to inspection per Tariff 100, Item 364.

If the commodity is not identifiable upon immediate, visual inspection, the carrier reserves the right to use total shipment density to assign the shipment an NMFC class based on the table below in order to protect the packaging integrity of the shipment in question.

If the bill of lading lacks a valid commodity description as well as a valid NMFC class, the shipment may be subject to a minimum class of 150."

If you need help in resolving NMFCs reclassification issues, W&Is or are looking for a complete managed transportation provider for your entire supply chain (or just part of your supply chain), reach out to the team here at Diversified Transportation Services.

You can request a quote from us by clicking here

[link based CTA]

Not sure if you’re following best practices for shipping or receiving?  We have a free guide to help you – to download, just click the button below.

Happy Shipping!

What Can DTS Do For You?

Whether you're a company looking to improve one facet of your supply chain, your entire supply chain, or simply looking for a transportation and logistics consultation, we can help.

Get In Touch
Copyright © 2022 – 2023 , Diversified Transportation Services. All Rights Reserved