The classification of freight is necessary for the efficient transportation and handling of goods. In particular, it is important to group products that have similar characteristics such as density, value, weight, fragility, and so forth (Bowersox, Class, Cooper, & Bowersox, 2009, p. 213). One should note that logistics companies may need to handle thousands of various items, and it is impossible to deal with them on an individual basis (Bowersox et al., 2009, p. 213).
Moreover, the classification of freight is important for determining the cost of transportation. The handling of some goods such as glass requires more labor or the use of more sophisticated technologies. As a result, carriers may have to incur greater expenses. Moreover, some commodities cannot easily fit containers, and such goods usually require more attention. Each of these factors affects the price of transportation. One should also mention that truck and rail carriers may need to adopt different methods of classification.
For instance, it is possible to mention the so-called National Motor Freight Classification (Bowersox et al., 2009). As a rule, various carriers publish classification lists that should be considered by clients. Overall, the classification of goods requires the use of elaborate software tools that facilitate the transfer and storage of data.
It is important to pay attention to such a concept as the freight rate. This notion can be defined as the price that is charged for the delivery of goods. This price is determined by a set of factors such as the mode of transportation, distance, and so forth. One should keep in mind that the rate should not be confused with the rating.
The term rating is used to describe that class, which is given to a particular item (Bowersox et al., 2009, p. 213). Again, it is critical to consider weight, fragility, stability, and other criteria that are necessary for the classification of freight.
Overall, the use of this information is important for the cost-efficiency of transportation. In some cases, carriers have to apply the so-called exception rates to a particular commodity or a destination (Bowersox et al., 2009, p. 216). In this case, carriers may need to charge higher fees provided that a certain product requires more work due to its fragility or poor stability. As a rule, these extra charges can be negotiated by shippers and carriers. These are the main points that be taken into consideration.
The knowledge of classification systems is important for managers who are responsible for the operations of the supply chain. They need to make sure that the items are classified in the most appropriate way. In this way, they can lower the price of transportation (Bowersox et al., 2009).
In contrast, carriers may need to show that the transportation of certain items necessitates additional expenses (Bowersox et al., 2009). So, these professionals should have in-depth insights into the pricing mechanisms. Moreover, the classification of freight is critical for the management of inventory. The classification of freight can be important for people operating warehouses. This information is necessary for the effective handling and storage of commodities that can be very fragile.
On the whole, this discussion indicates that the movement of goods requires several preliminary steps that are important for the estimation of costs and ensuring the safety of products. This knowledge can be vital for the negotiation between businesses that may have conflicting needs. Furthermore, the classification of commodities is important for the management of inventory, especially its storage. These are the main details that should be taken into account.
Bowersox, D., Class, D., Cooper, M., & Bowersox, J. (2009). Supply Chain Logistics Management. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.