Many people are aware of the NMFC, or National Motor Freight Classification. This is used to determine freight classes for a multitude of items being shipped throughout North America. The NMFC also contains many rules and regulations in the transport of freight. Periodically the rules are updated and supplements are issued to acknowledge the updates.

    There has been a recent proposal made in NMFC Item 680 Packing or Packaging-General “where damage to the shipping package will result in claims as follows: Unless otherwise provided in individual descriptions of articles, when damage to the shipping package, including cosmetic damage, will result in a claim for loss or damage, such packages must be overpacked or otherwise protected by packaging materials sufficient to prevent damage to the package”.

    The docket proposal goes on to state that the proposal was docketed by the Classification Resource Committee (CRC) based on reports of claims filed with carriers for damage to a product’s shipping package only, including cosmetic damage and not to the product itself.

    The reports involve a range of products, there are no specific items identified.

    The CCSB (Commodity Classification Standards Board) policy is to establish and maintain packaging rules and specifications as necessary to ensure that freight is adequately protected and can be handled in such a manner that is reasonably safe and practicable so as to withstand the normal rigors of the LTL environment.

    This proposal would add a new section to NMFC Item 680 which would require additional protection to shipments where damage to the packaging itself will result in a claim.

    What does all this mean:

    Suppose you are the store: would you buy a dirty or dented box of cereal, or would you search through the stock for a clean non-dented carton? In this instance, it could very well be that there is no actual damage to the contents of the carton but it’s condition renders it worthless and an unsaleable item. The repackaging of the product would generally cost more than the actual product is worth.

    This new rule places an additional burden on manufacturers and shippers to “overpack”, particularly of consumer goods/retail products or run the risk of having claims denied. If you have any additional question concerning packaging and how to pack your freight to minimize claims, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@pnglc.com or 717-626-1107 x 1.

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