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At Freight Motion, we have customers who discuss various transportation issues they had in the past. We would like to share one here to raise awareness of underlying issues, market trends, and possible solutions.

What would cost more to ship freight, 1,000 pounds of ping-pong balls or 1,000 pounds of bowling balls?  Did you answer bowling balls as most do?  Ping-pong balls is the correct answer.  Why is that?

Assuming round ping-pong and bowling balls are stack perfectly on one another, let’s do the math.

According to google, a ping-pong ball weighs 2.7 grams (0.00595248 pounds) and is 1.57 inches in diameter.  Therefore, 1,000 pounds of ping-pong balls is equivalent to 167,997 total ping-pong balls.  To fit them all in a trailer, it would require approximately eight feet in length, eight feet in width, and stacked just over six feet high.  Now for bowling balls.

According to google, a bowling ball is 8.5 inches in diameter and let’s suppose it weighs 10 lbs.  Therefore, 1,000 pounds of bowling balls is equivalent to 100 total bowling balls.  It would take less than one pallet space (four feet long by four feet wide) stacked just under 3 feet high.

With this example, even though the weight of the two items are the same, one of them will take up more room in a trailer.  This is the reason why LTL carriers use a density-based system to classify freight.  It allows them to standardize pricing while taking into account weight and size.

For more information about density freight classification, please check out some of our older blog posts called NMF What? and Class Dismissed.

What was your answer?

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