A Guide to the NMFC Changes Coming in 2025: How They Will Affect You and How to Prepare

Keith Peterson - June 11, 2024

NMFTA to Host Carrier, Shipper, and 3PL Listening Sessions in August. Register Now to Learn More!


Introduction: Classification Changes

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA)™ has been working for several years on an initiative called “Classification Reimagined” to address a simple reality: The nature of transporting LTL freight constantly evolves as products change, technology advances, and the industry deploys new methods.

Although the classification system (National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC)®) has been evolving consistently since 1935, our efforts this year are very intentional about addressing specific needs and priorities.

Throughout the rest of 2024, the process of informing the LTL shipping community of the changes and how to prepare will be more intensive, informative, and inclusive. We aim to involve all parties – especially carriers, shippers, and 3PLs – to ensure time to prepare as we develop an improved classification system in 2025.

 The changes will:

  • Enhance the freight classification user experience;
  • Increase the accuracy of the system on the first try; and
  • Reduce friction between shippers, carriers and 3PLs.

We expect these changes to streamline workflows, enhance communication and visibility, while also increasing the overall satisfaction of NMFC and ClassIT® users in the process.

Impacts on Carriers, Shippers, and 3PLs

Each of the three groups can expect to be affected in distinct ways by the changes.

For LTL carriers, the simplified classification process will result in one standard density scale when handling, stowability, and liability issues are not present. There will also be more instances where freight classes will be determined by actual shipment density.

Meanwhile, they will be able to identify commodities more clearly with unique handling, stowability, and liability issues. And they will absolutely need to obtain handling unit dimensions and weight from shippers and 3PLs to complete their bills of lading or eBOLs.

Carriers can prepare by spreading the message to shippers and 3PLs, by bolstering their dimensioning capabilities, by making good use of NMFTA resources and by participating in the listening sessions.

For LTL shippers, the main impacts will be easier identification of NMFC items and freight classes, lower density classes for heavier freight, more freight with the same characteristics having the same class and changes to NMFC items, sub and freight classes.

As such, the process of preparing LTL shipments may also need to change, including the inclusion of handling unit dimensions and weight.

Shippers can prepare by contacting NMFTA for proper NMFC information on LTL shipments, by learning how to calculate cube and density using handling unit dimensions (length, width, and height) and weight as tendered to carriers for shipment.  And of course, by participating in the listening session scheduled for them.

For LTL 3PLs, the impacts will be the same as those for shippers. They can prepare by spreading the word to shippers and vendors, by working to educate shippers and staff on the aforementioned calculations and by participating in the listening sessions scheduled for them.

Getting Prepared for the Changes – Attend Listening Sessions

Although we are one year out from changes going into effect, get involved now by attending one of our listening sessions to prepare your operations.  Changes will be communicated, but this is your chance to ask questions and utilize NMFTA resources to prepare you and your customers for the revised system. These one-hour webinars will be hosted as follows:

  • Carrier LTL Listening Session on Tuesday, August 6;
  • 3PL Listening Session on Wednesday, August 7; and
  • Shipper LTL Listening Session on Thursday, August 8.

The listening sessions will provide the opportunity to gain in-depth insights on the reimagination process, to ask questions directly to NMFTA representatives, and to share direct experiences that can help shape the future of the NMFC and ClassIT.

Registration for these sessions is open now! Register here.

You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter which provides on-going updates on any NMFC-related news. You can also find these updates on the NMFTA LinkedIn social page here.

Critical Dates in the Process

After the listening sessions, critical dates in this process will include:

Docket Issue Date – January 30, 2025

This will be the first chance to review proposed changes to Docket 2025-1.

FCDC Public Meeting – March 4, 2025

This is the hearing to review the proposed changes.

Supplement Effective Date – Saturday, May 3, 2025

This is the date when the approved changes from Docket 2025-1 become effective.

Imagine: A Better-Than-Ever Classification

The changes coming in 2025 will reflect the current state of LTL freight transport. Together with the industry, the NMFTA is focused on creating a classification system that simplifies where needed, clarifies where helpful, and enhances efficiency throughout the process.

To this end, we hope you will attend one of the listening sessions mentioned above this summer to help shape the future of the NMFC.

Keith Peterson
Keith Peterson

Keith Peterson has more than two decades of experience in technical operations, customer success management, and both product and customer support. Currently serving as the Director of Operations for the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. (NMFTA)™, he plays a pivotal role in helping to advance the industry through classification and digitization.

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