Q:

Do U.S. freight classifications differ from the Canadian classifications?

A:

Quick Answer

The National Motor Freight Classification system is the standard Uniform Straight Bill of Ladings by all carriers for interstate, intrastate and foreign cargo shipments, including freight moving within Canada. The North American Uniform Through Bill of Lading uses the NMFC classes for shipments between the United States and Canada

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Full Answer

The classification system compares commodities and rates them in one of 18 classes from 50 to 500. The cargo's transportability, which is determined by evaluating standard elements, including density, handling, stowability and liability, is the basis of the class system. It provides a simplified method to categorize thousands of cargo types for negotiating freight charges between carriers and shippers.

The system also specifies the minimum packaging necessary for the cargo for protection and safety through normal truck shipment rigors of handling, stowing and moving. It also outlines the procedures for filing and disposing of claims for lost or damaged shipments and rules for settling issues between interline carrier companies.

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association also created Standard Carrier Alpha Codes for all of North America, which the United Nations recognizes, to identify and classify freight carriers. All shipments that cross the U.S. border require these codes as required by the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection

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