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How To Calculate LTL Freight Rates

Are you worried about your LTL freight shipment because you don’t know how to calculate LTL freight rates?

Don’t worry, we got you covered. In this blog post, we’ll teach you different factors that affect how much your shipment will cost and some of the best LTL freight companies to choose from.

how to calculate ltl freight rates

Factors that Affect the Price

The price of LTL freight can vary based on several factors (wondering “what is ltl freight?” read here) . Once you understand all these factors, you’ll be able to better manage what you ship to stay within budget.

Here are 6 factors that will affect the price of your shipment.

1. Weight

The weight of your shipment is one of the primary factors that affect LTL freight rates.
Of course, the more you ship, the more it will cost.

But shipments are usually weighted in pounds. The more pounds you have, the less each pound will cost.
Also, there’s generally a minimum and maximum weight each carrier allows to be shipped.

2. Density and Cube Weight

The density of your shipment can also affect its cost. When speaking of density, we mean how much space your shipment occupies within the truck.

This can affect the price, as carriers will often charge by the cubic foot or by the pallet.

Additionally, cube weight (the weight of the shipment per cubic foot) is another important factor to consider, as carriers may charge based on this metric as well. It is not the same to ship a 20cm box full of feathers as a 20cm box full of rocks.

3. Pallet Rates

If your shipment is on a pallet, carriers may charge based on the number of pallets you are shipping. The reasoning behind this is that pallets take some more expertise to handle and take up more space in the truck.

As a result, you may be charged extra for each pallet in your shipment.

4. Distance

The distance between your pickup and delivery locations is another important factor to consider when calculating LTL freight rates.

The farther your shipment needs to travel, the more it will cost to ship. This is because carriers have to use more fuel and other resources to transport your shipment over longer distances.

5. Freight Class & NMFC Codes

Freight class and NMFC codes are important factors to consider when calculating LTL freight rates.

These codes help carriers determine the proper pricing for your shipment based on its type, weight, and other characteristics.

The wrong classification or code can result in extra charges or even penalties, so it’s important to get these right.

The freight class of a shipment is determined by four main characteristics that are taken into account while calculating the shipping rate. These are the four elements:


Density is the most significant factor in determining a shipment’s freight class.

Commodities with a high density, such as bricks or metals, take up less space and thus have a lower freight class (e.g., 55).

Items with a lower density, such as a TV or a pillow, take up more space and thus have a higher freight class (e.g., 250).

The liability

The liability of the shipment is another significant factor. Fragile, hazardous, or perishable items are more susceptible to damage or loss, and hence require more care and attention during transportation. This increases their liability, and consequently, they are more expensive to ship.


Handling is another important aspect of calculating the shipping rate. Irregularities in an item’s size, shape, or weight can make it difficult to handle, requiring special care during transport. A shipment that requires special handling, such as a large, fragile item, will be more expensive to ship than a regular item like a shipment of lumber.


is the final factor to consider. If an item has an odd shape or must be loaded in a specific way onto the trailer, it will affect its stowability. This will impact its categorization and shipping rates, as items that require specific loading methods take longer to load and may require additional space.

By taking into account these four elements, shippers can calculate the freight class and shipping rate for their LTL shipments more accurately. This helps them make informed decisions while selecting the most cost-effective and efficient shipping options.

6. Additional Services If Needed

Finally, you should also consider any additional services you may need, such as liftgate service, inside delivery and assembly, or residential pickup or delivery. These services can add to the cost of your shipment, so make sure to factor them in when calculating your LTL freight rates.

How To Calculate LTL Freight Rates Conclusion

This is the most comprehensive guide on how to calculate ltl freight rates you will find out there, but even with all this info, you will always need to just contact a trustable shipping company to tell you a reasonable quote.

If you want to do an LTL freight, contact Massiano Logistics now. They have you covered with years of experience and competitive pricing.

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