Sweeping Changes to Classification System to Take Effect April 8

Joel Ringer - March 22, 2023

Making the National Motor Freight Classification® (NMFC®) system as easy as possible for the industry to use is a high priority here at the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA). That is why NMFTA’s Freight Classification Development Council (FCDC) took several actions during NMFTA’s recent membership meeting in La Jolla, CA to make the NMFC simpler and easier for shippers.

All this is part of Supplement 1 to NMF 100-AW.

As part of its “Classification Reimagined” initiative, the FCDC decided to consolidate, cancel or amend several generic groupings. Those affected include:

• Brooms Group

• Cabinets, or Parts Named

• Conduits, Other Than Earthen, Group

• Dental, Hospital or Medical Supply Group

• Foodstuffs Group

• Furniture Group

• Furniture Parts Group

• Pads, Padding and Related Articles Group

• Plastic or Rubber Articles, Other Than Expanded, Group

• Plastic or Rubber Articles or Materials, Expanded, Group

• Wheels or Wheel Blanks

“It’s one of the most significant supplements we’ve had in quite some time,” says NMFTA’s Vice President of Classification Joel Ringer. “That’s because of the sheer number of provisions that are impacted, the sheer number of products that are involved for the betterment of the classification of freight, and making it more user-friendly for the people who rely on it.”

Some groups are being combined, such as the Furniture Group and the Furniture Parts Group, as well as the two Plastic or Rubber Articles groups. In other cases, groupings are eliminated in favor of a single item.

“Some items we’ve determined aren’t being used much at all, so they’re being canceled as obsolete,” Ringer says. “Others are being changed to a single item.”

Ringer emphasizes that, with all changes, FCDC ensured that the resulting provisions reflect the transportation characteristics of the products involved. That, after all, is the whole point of the classification system.

With these changes, NMFC is designed to be simpler but just as effective at helping shippers and other stakeholders classify the items they’re shipping.

“The result is hundreds fewer items,” Ringer says. “It’s a streamlined set of provisions that are hopefully easier to understand, to apply and to verify. The goal in all this is to make it easier for people who use the classification to apply the provisions, how to classify different articles and verify that the provisions are being used correctly. I think in this particular instance, we’ve done this.”

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

Joel Ringer
Joel Ringer

Joel Ringer is Vice President of Classification for the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. (NMFTA) and serves as Chairman of the Freight Classification Development Council (FCDC). He is responsible for the management of all activities relating to the development, production and interpretation of the National Motor Freight Classification® (NMFC®), as well as all staff functions of the FCDC. Joel was hired by NMFTA in June 1977 as a Research Analyst and has since held a number of positions of increasing responsibility, including managing the Interpretations group and managing the Research group. For the past 21 years, he has overseen the entire classification operation, and in total, Joel has over 45 years’ experience with NMFTA and the NMFC. Prior to joining NMFTA, Joel worked in the traffic department of a major department store chain that operated primarily in the mid-Atlantic region. Joel holds a degree in Business and Management from the University of Maryland, where he majored in Transportation.

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