Today’s Pickup: Freight classification changes to impact LTL carriers

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Good day,

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) has made changes to the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC). The changes, which took effect on Aug. 5, will impact how some items are packaged and costs to shippers, particularly those shipping via less than truckload, according to an explanation of the changes by Cerasis.

Among the changes Cerasis highlighted:

  • Conduits and pipes not in packaging were changed to reflect density and dimensional classification, canceling item numbers 50940 and 50942.
  • Item 41080 was established for temperature-controlled freight.
  • Dietary supplements now fall under item 57300.
  • Containers or crates with wheels or casters must have locking mechanisms in place.
  • Packages likely to result in the filing of damaged claims must be overpackaged.
  • Paper goods now have a freight class of 125.

According to Cerasis, the most significant impacts will occur on so-called Sub 4 shipments shipments with a density of four but less than six pounds per cubic foot.

Those shipments will now have a freight class of 175, reflecting a jump from the previous freight class of 150. Another change implemented involves freight classification when shippers do not properly calculate a shipment’s density. When this occurs, the package is subject to the “bumping” clause (item 170), which uses the lowest density freight classification available for assessing freight charges, Cerasis says.

The analysis indicates the changes are likely to increase costs for shippers and the ability of carriers to fill their trailers due to the need to over-package certain items, will impact the actual density of shipments.

As carriers begin charging for the new classification levels, shipping costs are likely to increase, although some shipments could potentially be reclassified into a lower category, Cerasis notes, so the actual impact is still uncertain.

Did you know?

The Mack Truck Bulldog name comes from the blunt-nosed design of AC Model Mack trucks built for allied powers during World War I, which reminded British soldiers of their country’s mascot: the British Bulldog.

Quotable:

“To insure we are on the same page, our primary goal is the ability to operate our prototype test trucks in a continuous manner across the state line and within the States of Nevada and California in a platooning and/or Autonomous mode without having a person in the vehicle.”

- Nasser Zamani, Tesla regulatory official, in an email to Nevada DMV official April Sanborn

In other news:

FMCSA holds listening sessions

FMCSA held listening sessions recently on CSA and and the ELD rule, the agency just didn’t tell anyone in trucking it was doing so. (Overdrive)

Blue Apron finds delivery isn’t so easy

Packaged food delivery company Blue Apron saw its costs rise 86% to $65.7 million as it struggled to open a New Jersey logistics center and rein in logistics costs.  (Wall Street Journal)

States seek truckers’ help with eclipse traffic

Fearing an influx of vehicles and increased road congestion because of the upcoming solar eclipse, some states are asking truck drivers to alter their routes to avoid problems. (Transport Topics)

New electric van to make debut

Chanje Energy has unveiled a new Class 5 all-electric van designed for last-mile delivery.(Trucks.com)

Getting along with the robots

Rather than replacing workers, more companies are developing robots to assist workers, creating a more effective workplace. (Supply Chain Brain)

Final Thoughts

The news from Overdrive that the FMCSA held a listening session on CSA and the ELD rule earlier this week with little to no announcement of the session is a bad precedent and should send up reason for concern. Listening sessions are an important part of the process, giving those on the front lines and most affected by regulatory decisions the opportunity to weigh in and understand the process. Cutting out this important voice makes you wonder what FMCSA is trying to hide.

Hammer down everyone!