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Space Based Pricing

What is the cubic minimum charge(CMC)?

Spaced-based pricing is a simplified approach to LTL shipping — it makes getting a quote easier and more accurate. Similar to the Absolute Minimum Charge that applies to weight-based pricing, the Cubic Minimum Charge (CMC) is a minimum linehaul rate for shipments based on the space they occupy — establishing an absolute minimum price per cubic foot for LTL shipments.

When you get an LTL quote by phone or online, just provide the dimensions of your shipment (length, width and height), along with details such as origin, destination, weight, and class, and we’ll help determine whether the space-based minimum charge applies to your freight.

Space-Based Cubic Minimum FAQs

When did space-based cubic minimum charges go into effect?

The CMC took effect August 1, 2017, for customers subject to the series ABF111 or ARC111 rules tariff.

How is the cubic minimum charge calculated, and how will it apply to my shipments?

To calculate the CMC, measure the shipment then reference the CMC rate table in Item 616 of the ABF111 or ARC111 (LTL Section) to find the applicable price per cubic foot — this is based on dimensions and the mileage from origin to destination. Multiply that rate by the total cubic footage of the shipment to get the CMC charge. If the net linehaul charge (total charges minus accessorial charges and fuel) falls below the CMC charge, the CMC will apply.

Does this change how I get LTL rates online or by phone?

You’ll now be prompted to provide shipment dimensions when you get an LTL quote. Simply give the length, width and height of the shipment, along with details like origin, destination, weight, class and any special services you may need. If shipment dimensions are entered during the quote process and the CMC may apply, you will be notified.

Am I required to provide shipment dimensions?

Shipment dimensions are not required to get a quote; however, they help ensure accuracy. If they’re not provided, we’ll prompt you to add them. If you are unable to provide dimensions, we’ll measure the shipment for you using dimensioners, our Weighing & Research team or our drivers. It’s important to note that the quoted rate is subject to change if dimensions are not provided or are inaccurate.

How are dimensions verified?

We encourage you to write your shipment dimensions on the bill of lading and we will accept the dimensions you submit. Similar to weight verification, dimensions are subject to inspection and verification by the Weighing & Research team.

Does the CMC replace the Density Minimum Charge (DMC)?

If the CMC applies to your shipments, it replaces both the Density Minimum Charge (DMC) and the Capacity Load Minimum Charge (Cap Load).

How will this change the rates for shipments affected by DMC?

This varies by customer. Contact your account manager for questions related to specific shipment pricing.

If my shipments are not subject to the ABF111 or ARC111, will they continue to receive DMC charges?

Yes, if you have DMC rules that do not specifically reference the ABF111 or ARC111 item 611, the DMC will apply as outlined in your tariff.

My Transportation Management System (TMS) is not equipped to handle these changes. What are my options?

While freight dimensions are not required to get a quote, rates are subject to change if they’re not provided. We recommend contacting your TMS provider for assistance.

Does the CMC change my current pricing schedule?

Your current pricing schedule will not be impacted by the CMC. It simply establishes an absolute minimum price per cubic foot.

How will the CMC appear on my invoice?

If the CMC applies to a shipment, the invoice will include a line item adjustment along with the cube measurement and mileage.

Why are you making these changes?

Over the past several years the LTL industry has seen continual growth in cube-dominant shipments, causing a change in shipment profile. Our current pricing structure doesn’t address this change. A shift to space-based pricing allows ArcBest® to be adequately compensated for the value provided with these types of shipments.      

We’re Here to Help

The ArcBest team is available to provide the assistance you need. Contact your local account manager with questions about how the space-based minimum charge impacts your shipments, or let our packaging engineers help improve your product packaging for lower costs, enhanced efficiency and better security.