How does density impact your LTL freight quotes?

Scientists… earmuffs. I am not gonna explain density in scientific terms. If you are looking for that, I’m not your guy. I’m gonna tell you what density is in shippin’ terms. In the shipping business, especially LTL shipping, density is a big part about how pricing is determined. It is one of the major factors that influence the NMFC classification system that most LTL carriers use to categorize commodities for pricing purposes.


Density for shippers is the pounds per cubic foot (pcf) that your shipment takes up. The higher the pcf the cheaper the rate level applied. The lower the pcf the higher the rate level applied.


Density (pcf) = Weight (lbs) / Cubic Feet (ft3)

Most shipments are measured in inches stated as length x width x height. The way you convert this information to cubic feet is by multiplying the length, width and height and dividing the total by 1728.

Why 1728? Because that is the number of inches in one cubic foot or 12″ x 12″ x 12″ or more simply stated, a cubic inch.

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Dave Stevens

Dave Stevens

Transportation Executive with experience in developing processes and controls for early stage start up companies. Specialties include: Sales, Marketing, Transportation, Trucking, Brokerage, Project Transport and Rail Operations.,Organizational Design, Process Development, Accounts Receivable Management, Leadership, and Business Start-ups.

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