With this freight class calculator, you will never be surprised by freight pricing again. This tool uses a pallet’s weight and dimensions to calculate the class of your freight in a blink of an eye. If you are new to the shipping business and have no idea how to calculate freight class, have no worries, this calculator will help you get started.

Why is knowing the density of your shipment so important? Carriers use the density of your shipment as one of the factors in determining the cost of your shipment. As a general rule, lower density shipments have a higher freight classification.

Freight Class Calculator
Freight Density
(in lbs per cubic foot)
Freight Class
Less than 1400
1 but less than 2300
2 but less than 4250
4 but less than 6175
6 but less than 8125
8 but less than 10100
10 but less than 1292.5
12 but less than 1585
15 but less than 22.570
22.5 but less than 3065
Over 3060

What Is the Freight Class?

This calculator is based on the American Nationa Motor Freight Classification (NMFC). These are the standard classifications that carriers use to determine pricing for freight shipments.

Each class organizes shipments by their density.

Those items that are less dense weigh less but take up a lot of space. This tends to be less profitable for carriers. So the denser your item, the more shipments a carrier can load onto the truck.

How to Calculate Freight Class?

  1. Begin with determining the dimensions of one pallet in your shipment. For example, we can assume that you are shipping boxes that are 3 ft x 4 ft x 5 ft in size.
  2. Weigh the pallet. Let’s assume that it weighs 260 lbs.
  3. Calculate the volume of your pallet by multiplying its dimensions by each other. In this case, 3 * 4 * 5 = 60 cu ft.
  4. Divide the weight by the volume of the cargo to calculate the density: 260/60 = 4.33 lb/cu ft.
  5. Compare this value with the table above to find the appropriate freight class. In this case, your shipment belongs to freight class 200.

Optimize Your Freight Shipment

Now that you have your freight class, you should take a look at how you can optimize it. Take a look at your packaged shipment and determine if there is a better way of packing it. Here are some suggestions to help you get the best freight class possible.

Is your shipment right on the edge of two freight classes? Adjust your shipment up or down to achieve the most favorable rate.,

Doing this will also clearly place your freight into a particular class. This will reduce the chance of the carrier coming back to say you chose the wrong class.

Try using advanced mode at the bottom of the calculator. This will let you put in the freight rate per unit weight. The calculator will then automatically determine your freight cost.

Keep in mind that it won’t factor in additional costs such as insurance, expedited, lift gate, or hazardous material.

Factors Used to Determine Freight Cost

There is more than just your freight class that goes into the carrier’s quote. The carrier will use a variety of factors to determine your shipping cost. There are a few factors that directly relate to your shipment.


This is your shipment in pounds per cubic feet. The higher the density, the lower the freight class.


This is how easy it will be for the carrier to move your shipment to and from the truck and around the terminal. Shipments that are more fragile are going to get assigned a higher freight class.


The greater the liability that the carrier has to take on, the greater the shipping quote will be. The carrier will want to ensure that they are covered for the extra liability they are taking on.


Can the carrier stack other shipments on top of yours? Can it be moved so they can utilize the space better? The more restrictions your shipment has, the higher your rate will be.