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For any business shipping goods, freight shipping costs are a significant part of the budget. However, estimating these costs can be a complicated process, and you’ll usually need a reliable freight classification.

You’ll need to factor in many factors when calculating freight shipping costs, including the dimensions and weight of your shipment, the size, weight, and nature of the cargo, the distance it has to travel, and the mode of transport. The following is an overview of the main issues you should consider when estimating your shipping costs.

Freight classification

There are 18 LTL freight (less than truckload) classes set by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA). The classes are numbered from 50 to 500; the lower the number, the lower the cost. When determining your freight class, various characteristics are assessed, including but not limited to density, handling, stowability, and liability.

By evaluating these characteristics, you can establish the freight’s transportability and determine the shipping costs.

Estimate Freight Shipping Costs


You can determine the density of cargo by measuring its weight and dimensions in cubic feet. High-density freight is generally ranked in a lower class, meaning it costs less to ship.

Although this might seem strange, smaller cargo takes up less space on trucks, allowing carriers to fit in more freight at one time. This means that a large, light box, for example, a shipment of soft toys, may cost more to ship than a small, heavy container, like a shipment of building materials.


The freight rate calculator considers how easy cargo is to handle, taking into consideration factors such as dimensions, fragility, packaging, and whether it includes hazardous materials. Freight that requires extra precautions or loading equipment is usually placed in a higher class, making it more expensive to ship.


A shipment’s stowability depends on how it fits with other freight in the carrier’s vehicle. Cargo that has an unusual shape or is made of hazardous material that cannot be moved with non-hazardous shipments requires more space and is considered less stowable and therefore are in a higher, more expensive class.


The liability of freight is determined by the cargo’s value and if it requires extra security measures and is one of the key factors affecting shipping costs. If the cargo is of a high monetary value or is fragile and easily broken in transit, a shipper will consider it more of a liability, making it a higher freight class.


As a rule, the further LTL shipments have to travel, the more expensive it is to ship. Carriers consider not only the mileage but the destination’s proximity to shipping hubs. As such, when determining freight rates, it’s essential to know the exact origin and destination zip codes.

Mode of Transport

Another factor that plays a part in shipping costs is the chosen mode of transport. Road, rail, air, and ocean freight all have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, air freight is fast, and ocean freight is an excellent choice for larger cargo.

Cost is one of the most significant considerations when deciding on transportation, with air freight being particularly expensive and road and ocean freight on the cheaper end of the spectrum.

Accessorial Charges

Sometimes extras fees may appear on your shipped LTL cargo’s bill. These charges cover additional services provided by the carrier outside of standard shipping and receiving, including:

  • After-hours delivery
  • Storage
  • Additional stops
  • Layovers
  • Fuel Surcharges

Final Thoughts

Whatever your shipment needs, getting an accurate freight quote is essential for you to accurately budget for your commodity transportation. With our reliable freight cost calculator, Asiana USA can help you attain an accurate quote and understand your shipping options.

For trustworthy shipping and top-quality customer service, contact us today at (855) 500-1808.

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