Dockets, Disposition Bulletins, and Supplements: Understanding How We Update the Freight Classification System

NMFTA - March 28, 2024

While keeping the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) system up to date, the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. and our Freight Classification Development Council (FCDC) follow a detailed, exacting process to keep the shipper community informed about the changes.

Not surprisingly, the process often prompts questions. So, what exactly is a docket, disposition bulletin, and a supplement? What roles do they play in this critical process?

Three times a year, we go through a process of considering updates to the classification system. We might change an item, consolidate several items into one and even eliminate certain items. This is part of our ongoing “Reimagining Classification” initiative, which seeks to keep the system modern and reflective of what’s happening in freight shipping today.

This year the timeframes for the process are:

  • February to May
  • May to August
  • August to November

During each of these three timeframes, we will follow the same process, which contains these elements in this order:

The Docket. This is when we announce the changes under consideration, generally during the first month of a given timeframe (February, May, and August this year). The docket, which is announced to those participants who subscribe to our services, includes a detailed list of the items under consideration for change. It explains the current form of each item, along with an explanation of how we’re considering changing it.

The current docket, 2024-1, can be viewed here. Note that May’s edition will be 2024-2, and August’s edition will be 2024-3.

The docket will also let participants and shippers know when the FCDC will meet to vote on the proposed changes.

When participants and shippers receive the docket, they are also told the dates when they can submit comments on the proposed changes. They’re invited to express their opinions and the reasons for them and submit supporting data or other documents to back up their positions.

The FCDC will take these comments into consideration before it makes its final decisions.

For more information about the docket or how to submit a written statement, connect with the team at classification@nmfta.org or by calling 571-527-2681.

The Disposition Bulletin. This follows the FCDC’s meeting, which will generally take place during the second month of the given timeframe (March, June, and October this year). The disposition bulletin, also known as the DB, announces the decisions that the Council made on each proposed change.

Once the DB has been released, the changes are confirmed, and it’s too late for participants and shippers to submit comments. It is important for those who want to offer comments to do so when they receive the docket.

The Supplement. This is the actual amendment to the NMFC and to ClassIT® that reflects the decisions the FCDC made. The supplement is generally issued during the third month of a given timeframe (April, July, and October this year.) The changes announced in the supplement go into effect one month after the supplement is issued.

The meeting schedule for 2025 is not finalized yet but is likely to be the same as in 2024.

If any shippers are reading this blog but have not received the information discussed here because they do not subscribe to our classification services, we invite them to explore our services and contact customer service by e-mailing customerservice@nmfta.org.

The FCDC’s work to keep the classification system current is structured to allow maximum feedback and access to public information. Now that you’ve read this blog, you should have a pretty good understanding of its different elements and how they work – and when you can expect them to happen.

NMFTA
NMFTA

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association promotes, advances, and improves the welfare and interests of the motor carrier industry and less than truckload carriers operating in commerce, both domestically and/or internationally.

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