Freight Class Density Calculator [w/ Freight Class Chart]
Number of Pallets
Total Weight (lbs.)
Total Cubic ft.
Use FreightPros’ Freight Density Calculator for a More Accurate Quoting Process
Understanding density and how it can effect freight class and price with LTL shipments is critical for having a successful logistics operation. If you are estimating or aren’t using density at all, then you will be in for some unwelcome pricing surprises with your LTL freight. That is why we developed this Freight & Cargo Density Calculator! By utilizing this tool, you can easily check your cargo density and raise the accuracy of the quote we are about to give. All you need to do is to measure your cargo dimensions and enter them on our tool before providing us the information for your quote.
What is Freight Density?
Density = Weight / Volume
The freight density of your package refers to how heavy it is relative to the amount of space it consumes.A lot of commodities commonly shipped have varying weights and volumes. Some weigh a lot and take up a lot of space while others are light and small.Hence, it is important to determine the freight density correctly so you can get an idea of how much you’ll pay.
How to calculate Freight Density?
To compute for it, there are a couple of steps you need to do (assuming that your item is a rectangular box):
Weigh the whole package in pounds (lbs).
Measure the length, width, and height of the box in inches.
Multiply these three dimensions to get the volume in cubic inches and divide by 1728 to determine the volume in cubic feet (1728 in3 = 1 ft3).
Divide the weight by the volume to get the density in lb/ft3.
Repeat if there are multiple boxes.
Now that you have the freight density of your package, you can now easily find under what freight class it belongs to.
How is Freight Class determined?
A freight class is symbolized by a National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) code and considers four characteristics of your shipment.
Density refers to the weight of the package relative to the amount of space it takes. High density items are in a lower class and are cheaper to transport.
Ease of handling considers the size, shape, and fragility of the freight. Items that need special attention (e.g. hazardous or irregularly shaped) are in a higher class and are more expensive to ship.
Stowability means how the shipment can be arranged with other freight in the transport vehicle. How the freight is packaged and whether it is safe to be shipped with other packages affect your shipping costs.
Liability includes the perishability or possibility of freight theft of the item. Freight that can cause damage during transit fall into a higher class because of the greater risk.
Freight Class Chart
There are 18 freight classes numbered from 50 to 500. Starting from class 50, these are heavy yet compact items that are the least expensive to ship. Then as you go up, items are less dense and more prone to damage, making them more expensive to ship.
Freight Density (lbs per cubic foot)
35 – 50
30 – 35
22.5 – 30
15 – 22.5
13.5 – 15
12 – 13.5
10.5 – 12
9 – 10.5
8 – 9
7 – 8
6 – 7
5 – 6
4 – 5
3 – 4
2 – 3
1 – 2
Less than 1
To standardize pricing so customers aren’t confused about wildly differing shipping fees, the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) created these freight classes for goods transported by less-than-truckload (LTL) freight shipping.You can also get a quote for your item using our Freight Class Calculator above. It’s a convenient tool where you just input the dimensions of your package and you get an accurate price, without having to compute for density yourself.
See how much time and money you'll save by having our pros help manage your freight.