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When you're mailing a birthday present, it's relatively easy to figure out the delivery charge. Freight shipments are much more complex.
The American Trucking Association publishes a National Motor Freight Classification system, which rates shipments on a scale from 50 to 500 according to their density, value, fragility, and storage requirements. Higher numbers indicate a higher per-pound shipping cost.
To find out the NMFC classification for your shipment, you'll need to know its dimensions and at least its approximate weight. Ask your shipper to help you determine the proper number. Including your NMFC number on your labels will help ensure your shipment is properly treated and billed.