NMFC Updates to Take Effect April 25

Food and beverage shippers have a few changes to note in the second round of 2020 NMFC updates.

These classification changes are scheduled for the end of the month, as the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) has announced the updates will go into effect April 25.

While the next scheduled changes are not as wide-sweeping as the first reclassifications of this year, they do present some differences for food and beverage manufacturers—specifically, those shipping milk, cream, plant-based milk, and plant-based cream products.

Along with the shift in dairy product classes, other shippers of fruit juice, vegetable juice, meat jerky, and prepared seafood will need to use a different NMFC number to ship their products.

Vendors should be aware of these updates and how they could reshape their shipping operations.

A simple NMFC class change could spell issues for your LTL transportation operation if not adequately prepared for. Let’s look at what will shift.

NMFC Updates for Food and Beverage Vendors 

The changes set to take effect in a few weeks are the second of three annually occurring reclassifications that the NMFTA makes annually. 

The board receives appeals and submissions, which shape the rescheduling decisions that happen every four months.

Here are the scheduled updates to food and beverage products:

  • Fruit and Vegetable Juice
    • Juice Concentrates, Beverages, Drinks; or Cider and Cider Concentrates
      • New NMFC 73238
      • Products will ship at class 60
  • Milk or Cream Products 
    • Milk or Cream Products; Substitutes; or Plant-Based Milk or Cream Products
      • New NMFC 74035
      • Products will ship at class 65
  • Meat 
    • Sticks or Strips
      • Moved to 134710, which is a density-based class
  • Fish or Shellfish 
    • Cooked, Pickled, Preserved, or Smoked
      • New NMFC 72960
      • Products will ship at class 65
    • Dried or Dry-Salted
      • New NMFC 72970
      • Products will ship at class 70

What Do These Changes Mean for Food and Beverage Brands?

Since most of these changes are slight, their effects on shippers will likely be minimal. Fruit and vegetable juice shippers, while needing to use a different freight class, will not see much of a rate change.

Manufacturers of dairy or plant-based milk stand to see the most significant changes to their LTL operations as their products will ship at class 65, which is up from their previous class, 60. This NMFC jump will likely add a slight cost increase. Vendors shipping prepared seafood products will face a similar reclassification and cost difference.

Conversely, meat jerky shippers could see their shipping costs per pallet fall as a result of the changes. The update will move product to 134710, which is a density-based class. This movement will likely lower their average per pallet shipping costs for products across this class.

Why Are NMFC Changes Important?

The NMFTA routinely performs NMFC reclassifications. They can but should not disrupt your transportation function. It is essential to identify what the changes will be and if a product used anywhere along your supply chain will be affected.

There are instances in which your finished product may not be part of the scheduled changes, but a key ingredient that your operation uses is.

These instances can translate to higher transportation costs of that ingredient, which can substantially impact your spend and cause issues throughout your operation.

The best counter to any NMFC reclassification is preparation, as the NMFTA announces these updates well in advance.

Planning is the key to successfully mitigating supply chain disruption and controlling costs.

Incorrectly classified orders can add up to substantial accessorial fees, which can impact your bottom line.

Work with a Logistics Solutions Provider to Navigate NMFC Changes

While this information is publicly available, it can sometimes be difficult to sort through and apply to your operation. Zipline Logistics’ specialized operational teams can assist you in understanding your products’ class and best LTL shipping practices.

We can also ensure that you get the most competitive prices. We source our vast less-than-truckload carrier network and provide volume discounts. By implementing best logistics practices and utilizing competitive rates, you can reduce overall spend while increasing performance.

Our team of CPG logistics experts leverage our retail expertise to find you the right LTL carrier and keep your customers happy. See the difference working with Zipline can make.

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