The Role of NMFC
Each commodity has its own NMFC number. Usually, this is something that the shipper supplies. With these numbers, it helps you calculate a rate for LTL. For example, we use ZIP Codes to calculate most LTL. It helps to determine origin and destination, freight class, and weight. But these days, a lot of LTL carriers are negotiating rates that are more specific using this technology.
Using TMS to Improve Your System
With our TMS application, we actually communicate the NMFC number to the carriers via API. So when they return rates, they return accurate rates. On the TMS, these numbers are stored in the product catalog. And for each customer, they have their own list of products that they could save into the system. It is accessible when they enter shipments from the front office. They could type in a product description. All that information will pre-populate – like the NMFC number, DIMs, and weight. It can even show the back office info if you type in that same information, that information will populate.
This makes it easy for customers, or for dispatchers, to know what that NMFC code is for each product. This is without having to look it up through the MFTA. With NMFCs, each commodity shipped, this is whether it’s shoes, clothing, furniture. Each has its own NMFC number. Usually, there are sub-classes within that you could look up through programs like FastClass. SMC3 provides programs like this. There are also products like ClassIT, or Classit. From these programs, customers or brokers could look up these codes. They can do this without having to bring out the big book of NMFC codes. It’s an easy way of searching it, like a Google search.