When it comes to cross-border shipping, Canada and the USA are in alignment on many of the important rules, regulations, codes and standards that allow carriers easier access when crossing between the borders of the two countries. When there are differences, it’s important to work with a credible 3PL company that can clarify things for companies freight shipping in Canada and the USA.
Classifying LTL Freights According To NMFC Codes
Canada has kilometres and litres, French and English; the USA has miles and gallons, English and Spanish (unofficially). Freight shippers and carriers have managed to operate despite those differences. Another area of difference is the language each country uses for freight quotes and determining the stackability of less that truckload (LTL) shipments. Most US carriers rate shipments using National Motor Freight Classification® (NMFC). When shipping from Canada to the USA, it’s vital for shipping companies in Toronto and other Canadian locations to understand the purpose of NMFC standards. These NMFC standards are used to catalog commodities according to weight and size, density, stowability, state of assembly, ease of handling and the values and associated risk of theft and damage. Canadian shippers have their own alternative to the class-based rating system preferred by US-based carriers. Canadian-based carriers establish shipping rates according to dimensional weight (i.e. cubic weight), which is determined according to the cubic size of a shipment or the number of skids a shipment takes up as part of an LTL load. The Canadian system does not follow the NMFC index. While it may seem confusing, the two countries have managed to maintain working relationships that make it easier for haulers responsible for freight shipping in Canada and the USA.
How Do NMFC Standards Affect Shippers
It is vitally important for 3PL providers and shippers to understand NMFC codes. Failing to do so could result in the misclassification of a shipment, which could leave a shipper subject to reclassification fees, inaccurate freight quotes, increased cost of shipping or even the mishandling of freight leading to damage and financial loss. Establishing a commodity’s transportability is at the core of the NMFC standards. Every commodity gets assigned an NMFC and put in a class for shipping from Canada to the USA or vice versa. There are 18 different classes available. If a discrepancy is discovered during a carrier inspection during transit, a reclassification can be applied which could add additional costs to the transportation of the goods in question. A credible 3PL provider will do everything possible to avoid misclassifying a shipment, because errors are costly and can be seriously damaging to a company’s reputation.
Count On NATS Canada to Get It Right the First Time
At NATS Canada, our network of carriers and freight shipping companies allows us to provide quick and cost-effective delivery service from Canada to the U.S and the U.S. to Canada. Our knowledge of shipping regulations on both sides of the borders gives us the competitive advantage required to ensure all our clients are well looked after. From NMFC codes, bills of lading and customs invoices to import/export licenses and NAFTA certificates, we can handle all administration of your shipping between countries.