NMFTA Streamlines Dozens of Categories in Latest Proposed Classification Update 

Erin Topper - June 27, 2023

As part of the continuing effort to simplify, streamline and modernize the National Motor Freight Classification® (NMFC®), the National Motor Freight Traffic Association’s (NMFTA) Freight Classification Development Council (FCDC) will be issuing this year’s second major supplement to the NMFC. 

The changes were published in Disposition Bulletin 1366 of Docket 2023-2. 

The supplement, which will be issued on July 6 and is scheduled to take effect on August 5, streamlines 12 generic headings, which include: 

  • Adhesives   
  • Athletic Goods   
  • Caps and Covers   
  • Cookware  
  • Fibers   
  • Games and Toys   
  • Grains   
  • Gums   
  • Office or Store Equipment   
  • Pallets
  • Paper   
  • Stationery

Substantive changes were also made to classification provisions relating to the following commodities groups: 

  • Automotive Covers, Hoods, etc.   
  • Blackboards, Chalkboards, and other similar-type boards  
  • Charcoal   
  • Drugs or Medicines   
  • Feminine Hygiene Products   
  • Fuel Cans, Containers, Dispensers, Tanks, etc.   Graphite Articles   
  • Internal Combustion Engines, Catalytic Converters, and similar items   
  • Juice, Juice Powders, and related products  
  • Malt Flour, Gluten Meal, Wheat Germ Meal   
  • Polishing products   
  • Pumice Stone Bricks, Blocks, and Stone  
  • Railings   
  • Roof Gutters, Eavestroughs/Downspouts, and Fittings   
  • Sprinkler Heads   

The goal of such changes to the NMFC is to continue simplifying the process for shippers by combining or eliminating as many specific items as possible — combining them with similar commodities. 

“We continue to streamline the provisions of the classification in order to make them simpler and combine like-items when possible,” said FCDC Chair Erin Topper. “You still look for the most specific NMFC item that applies to your product that’s being shipped. Streamlining will make it easier for shippers to do that.” 

Disposition Bulletin 1366 was issued on June 9. Once a bulletin is issued, the NMFTA team updates the information in the NMFC, after which those changes are published in a supplement to the classification. The changes are effective 30 days after the supplement is issued. The changes will automatically be updated in ClassIT on August 5, the online, digital version of the NMFC. 

Similar changes enacted as a result of the FCDC’s October 2022 and February 2023 dockets reduced the number of items in the NMFC’s Articles section from 9,050 to 8,064. 

The team develops three dockets per year with proposed changes and updates. The third one is scheduled for October 2023. 

For more information on our classification system, please visit www.nmfta.org/nmfc.  

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Erin Topper
Erin Topper

Erin Topper is Classification Development and Packaging Manager for the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. (NMFTA). She is responsible for: reviewing and updating the packaging-related content of the NMFC, as well as writing proposals to amend classification provisions; providing opinions for compliance with the NMFC’s minimum packaging requirements to carriers, shippers and other interested parties; serving as the staff liaison to the CRC’s Packaging Subcommittee; managing the classification development process; and leading the team that develops and presents NMFTA’s educational offerings, such as classification and packaging webinars. Ms. Topper holds both a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Packaging from Michigan State University. She is a member of the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP), the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA), and ASTM’s D10 Committee on Packaging. Prior to joining NMFTA in 2005, Erin worked at a national LTL motor carrier and at an automotive packaging plant, and she did her internship at a General Mills-Green Giant frozen food plant.