Freight Classes, So you’re shipping your first package and stumbled upon this whole “freight class” thing. What gives? As a shipping newbie, all these codes and categories can feel overwhelming.

Well, don’t sweat it! Understanding freight classes is easier than it seems. This beginner’s guide will teach you the freight class basics so you can navigate the shipping world like a pro.

Demystifying Freight Classes

Freight classes are categories that are assigned to products and cargo to determine shipping rates and liability. Basically, they allow carriers to charge appropriately based on the items being shipped.

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) maintains something called the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) system. This categorizes thousands of commodities under one of 18 freight classes – from low-density Class 50 to high-density Class 400.

Read: Freight Forwarder vs Third-Party Logistics

How Freight Density Affects Class

A main factor used to determine an item’s freight class is its density. Density refers to the mass per cubic foot of an item.

  • Lower-density products like pillows and marshmallows are loosely packed and take up more space.
  • Denser items like auto parts contain more weight condensed into less space.

Less-dense freight belongs to lower freight classes, which have lower shipping rates. The logic is that lighter products cost carriers less to transport and take up valuable trailer space.

On the flip side, dense freight classes have higher shipping rates since heavy cargo weighs down trucks, requiring more gas and labor.

Why Accurate Classes Matter

Properly classifying your freight is crucial because rates directly correspond to classes. Incorrect classes mean incorrect shipping quotes. Getting it right protects your business.

Besides rates, freight classes also decide coverage limits. If items are undervalued or misclassified, you may not receive full reimbursement for losses or damages.

For new e-commerce sellers, identifying precise classes can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. But as you grow your shipping know-how, you’ll discover it’s an essential piece of the puzzle.

Finding an Item’s Freight Class

So how do you pinpoint that coveted freight class number? Here are tips for cracking the code:

Check the NMFC Directory

Think of the NMFC as a giant freight-class dictionary with every commodity imaginable. You can search by keyword to reveal an item’s assigned class.

For example, a search for “bottled water” shows it belongs to Class 92.5. Easy as pie!

Compare Similar Products

Can’t find an exact match in the NMFC? No sweat. Compare specifications for analogous products already listed to make an educated guess.

Use density as your north star. If Product A resembles Product B but is less packed, give it the next lightest class.

Ask Your Carrier

When in doubt, go straight to the source! Carrier customer service can provide guidance to accurately classify one-of-a-kind or oddball items.

Providing as many product details as possible allows them to make sound recommendations.

Decoding Common Freight Classes

While the NMFC contains over 5,000 classifications, some freight classes apply to everyday items.

Here’s a quick primer on codes you’ll likely encounter regularly:

Class 55: Household Goods

Furniture, and mattresses, which are lightweight and take up ample trailer space.

Class 60: Boxed Meat

Frozen, chilled or packed meat like chicken breasts or ground beef.

Class 65: Products of Unusual Value

Typically used for high-value electronics like laptops or cell phones.

Class 70: Automotive Parts

Replacement parts for cars, trucks, and other vehicles. From mufflers to driveshafts.

Class 125: Palletized Beverages

Shipment of canned or bottled sodas, waters, juices, etc. stacked on pallets.

See, not so bad! With this baseline familiarity with common freight classes, you can more readily classify many everyday shipments.

Learn: Comparing Shipping Methods from the US to the UAE

Leveraging Technology to Simplify Freight

Shipping technology like freight class lookup tools streamline the process from start to finish.

Instead of Memorizing codes, let an automated engine provide instant freight class suggestions as you enter items. Receiving accurate quotes in real-time eliminates surprises down the road.

As you progress on your shipping journey, lean on solutions that condense complex tasks like class identification into a few clicks. More time growing your business, less time scratching your head over codes!

Wrapping Up

And that’s the meat and potatoes on freight class basics! While new shippers often find the concept perplexing, a little diligence goes a long way.

The NMFC directory and handy carrier contacts empower you to classify freight with confidence. Memorize codes for routine items like furniture or meat to speed up quoting. And don’t be afraid to ask questions – no one understands shipping overnight.

Soon enough, you’ll be a freight class master pairing products to codes like a pro. But for now, take it one class at a time friend! You got this.


Setting Up Utilities in Dubai, Navigating utility set up as an American expat relocating to Dubai can seem daunting initially. Setting up utilities in Dubai when relocated from the USA involves arranging electricity, water, gas, internet, TV, smartphones, and transportation through providers like DEWA, Etisalat, and Du. While the processes differ from the US, they are fairly straightforward once you know what to expect.

As someone who recently made the move from the States, I’ll share firsthand experience getting our utilities and services established. I’ll walk through key steps and requirements to set up your DEWA account, select internet and TV bundles, get local smartphones, and leverage Dubai’s public transit options. With the right documents and some cultural adjustment, you’ll have your new home running smoothly.

The first utility to tackle is getting your DEWA account activated. DEWA is Dubai’s Electricity and Water Authority handling the majority of utilities. Setting up this account is essential for access to electricity, water, district cooling, gas, and more. Here’s what to expect with the process…

Getting Your DEWA Account Ready

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) oversees the majority of utilities. Setting up your DEWA account is crucial for access to electricity, water, gas, and more. The process is relatively straightforward:

  • Ensure you have copies of your passport, visa, Emirates ID (if available) and tenancy contract.
  • Visit any of DEWA’s service centers with the documents. Allow 1-2 hours.
  • Pay the one-time deposit, connection fee, and first month’s bill. Cash or credit card accepted.
  • DEWA will activate your account within 48 hours.

Pro tip: Apply for housing before your move so DEWA can conduct inspections and avoid service delays.

Read: Getting a Residence Visa in Dubai 

Understanding Utilities Costs

Coming from the USA, utility costs can be a shock. Electricity and water rates are higher than in most states. Some costs to budget for:

  • Electricity: $0.09-0.33 per kWh (varies based on usage)
  • Water: $0.05 per IG (Imperial Gallon)
  • Housing fee: 5% of annual rent
  • Gas deposit: $550+

Smaller living spaces and energy-efficient appliances will keep costs down. DEWA also offers ways to reduce bills so explore your options.

Arranging Internet and TV

With world-class digital infrastructure, Dubai offers blazing-fast internet. Etisalat and Du are the main telecom providers. Both offer:

  • Home internet packages from $27+ per month
  • IPTV services like OSN and beIN Sports
  • Bundles to customize TV, landline, and internet
  • No-contract options so you can change plans easily

I’d recommend visiting the stores of both providers to compare offers. For a smooth setup, take:

  • Copy of DEWA account
  • Passport and visa
  • Emirates ID (if available)

Getting Your Smartphones Working

To avoid roaming charges, you’ll want local SIM cards in your unlocked phones. You can purchase prepaid or monthly contract options from Etisalat or Du.

Packages range from $14-55 per month based on data amounts. Both carriers have stores across Dubai to purchase SIMs and select plans. Bring:

  • Passport copy
  • Initial top-up amount if getting prepaid

Pro tip: Notify your USA carrier about your move to avoid international plan charges. Suspend service or switch to low-cost options.

Getting Comfortable with Public Transportation

Owning a car in Dubai isn’t essential thanks to extensive public transit. Before committing to a vehicle:

  • Download RTA apps for metro, tram, bus, and taxi bookings
  • Get NOL cards for discounted travel rates
  • Learn the routes servicing your area
  • Budget $55+ per month for regular use

Dubai has an excellent metro system with stations connecting most districts. Buses and trams fill smaller routes. Taxis offer comfort and AC relief at affordable rates.

Find Out: Top Places to Live for Americans in Dubai

Adjusting to a New Way of Life

The utility and lifestyle differences take some acclimatizing as an American expat. But Dubai offers convenience and quality-of-life perks if you embrace the local way. Key mindset shifts that help:

  • Accept higher utility costs are the trade-off for Dubai’s modern infrastructure
  • Car usage is optional given reliable public transportation
  • Bulk grocery trips are less common with corner shops and delivery options
  • Expect and prepare for seasonal spikes in electricity bills from summer AC usage

With an open mindset to adapt as needed, you can settle into your new Dubai life smoothly. Let me know in the comments if you have other questions!


Moving can get messy, especially when you have strangely shaped items. Figuring out how to pack that big armchair with curved legs or Grandpa’s old toolbox with all the loose parts can be confusing. You can’t just throw this stuff into boxes all willy-nilly. Things like your favorite shelf that your brother built years ago or the ceramic pottery you made have special packing needs. If you don’t take extra care, they could end up cracked or smashed when you go to unpack.

But don’t worry! With the right supplies and some handy tricks, you can keep all your unique belongings safe on the journey to your new home. Taking time to pack carefully prevents headaches later. Wrap delicate items gently, use soft stuffing to avoid bumps, and secure heavy furniture so it doesn’t slide around. Follow some simple pointers for boxing up odd-shaped possessions so nothing gets damaged. Careful preparation means less stress as you transport your most precious household goods to your new place. The moving process is smoother when you know how to properly wrangle the weird, unwieldy, and wobbly items.

Use Plenty of Packing Materials

When it comes to packing irregularly shaped objects, you need plenty of cushioning and support. Be sure to use bubble wrap, newspaper, packing paper, foam peanuts, towels, and blankets to carefully wrap and pad everything. Pay special attention to corners, edges, protrusions, and any delicate parts. Allow for some compression but avoid placing too much pressure on the items. Go slowly and carefully, being sure to fill any gaps or open spaces with packing material.

You may read How to Move Pets to Dubai

Disassemble When Possible

If an item comes apart or has removable components, take the time to disassemble it before packing. This includes things like bicycles, grills, furniture, shelves, and more. Disassembling not only makes the objects easier to pack but also safer to transport without damage. Be sure to keep all hardware and parts together in bags so nothing gets misplaced. Taking pieces apart also allows you to distribute weight more evenly in boxes.

Use Appropriate Boxes

While it may be tempting to just shove an odd-shaped object into any available box, take the time to find one specifically suited for it. The box size should match the item as closely as possible while allowing sufficient padding. You also need to ensure the cardboard is sturdy enough to support the load without collapsing. Hauling heavy objects long distances in flimsy boxes is a recipe for disaster. Get guidance from moving stores or rental companies if needed on industrial-grade packing options.

Distribute Weight Evenly

When packing a box containing an irregular item, you need to carefully arrange packing materials to distribute weight evenly throughout. Otherwise, the box risks tilting or caving in on one side. Breakables in particular require delicate packing for balanced security. Gently pad and center fragile pieces with plenty of cushioning on all sides to prevent shifting during transport. For especially heavy items, double box by first packing it with padding and then placing that inner box securely into a larger outer box.

Use Straps, Tape, and Netting Securely

To keep oddly shaped loads from shifting during a move, make good use of tie-down straps, strong tape, and stretch netting. Strategically wrap and attach these items over and around boxes to cinch everything together tightly. Use extreme care though not to place bands, tape, or netting where they could damage delicate finishes or surfaces. Also, ensure tension is moderate and evenly distributed so that nothing gets crushed or deformed. Periodically check all restraints at stops to retighten if needed.

Check: Popular Weekend Getaways from Dubai

Handle With Care

At every stage – packing, loading, transporting, and unloading – irregularly shaped belongings require extra special care and handling. Avoid sudden jerks or jolts when lifting, placing down, or picking up unusual boxes and items. Take necessary precautions for safe practices like getting help moving heavy objects, using dollies or hand trucks, wearing protective gloves, lifting properly from the knees, and taking breaks as needed. Rushing through moving poorly packed odd-sized possessions invariably leads to damage.

Properly packing peculiar, awkward items for relocation takes time, effort, and finesse. But with ample prep and supplies paired with gentle care in maneuvering such challenging loads, everything should arrive safely. Following these key pointers helps streamline transporting uniquely shaped belongings to your new place.


Mistakes To Avoid When Moving in the UAE, The scent of saffron tea wafts down the alleyways as the muezzin’s sunrise call to prayer echoes across the Palm Jumeirah. You pass the iconic Burj Al Arab, its sail-like silhouette glittering under the desert sun. Locals float by on bras, traditional wooden boats, along Dubai Creek. The romanticized images of move-in day in an exotic new country dance through your head.

Yet…have you prepared for the harsher realities of relocating abroad?

Beyond the Instagrammable landmarks lies a hot, sandy terrain of logistical pitfalls. Between maze-like bureaucracies and perplexing cultural differences, one wrong step can derail your global transition fantasy. Arm yourself against potential mistakes rather than relying on folkloric daydreams.

Relocation roadblocks transcend language barriers and fuse frustration across all cultures. Let’s unwrap the hidden secrets local expats learned the hard way when moving to the UAE. These ten traumatic trip-ups teach tough lessons to first-time foreign transplants. Study the sagas of those battle-tested veterans braving dusty paths before you.

Top Mistakes to Avoid When Moving in the UAE

Now let’s review key pitfalls during a UAE move and how to cleverly circumvent them.

1- Failing to Research Schools and Neighborhoods

If you’re moving with children, one of the top priorities should be researching school options. There is a diverse range of public and private schools across the UAE, with varying curriculums, fees, and quality standards. Take time to tour campuses and learn about admissions processes well in advance.

Additionally, pinpoint neighborhoods or communities that align with your lifestyle, budget, and family needs. Factors like proximity to amenities, safety, and community demographics can greatly impact your transition.

Must See: Popular Weekend Getaways from Dubai

2- Not Understanding Visa Requirements

The UAE has complex visa rules that determine everything from how long you can stay in the country to whether you can own property or drive. Verify which visa – like employment, investor, property owner, etc. – you are eligible for and sponsored under. This affects privileges, renewals, and more. Consult with your company’s HR department or a legal expert to ensure paperwork and health checks are in order.

3- Failure to Adjust to Weather Conditions

The UAE’s arid desert climate reaches extreme summertime temperatures over 40°C. It takes time to acclimate to the heat. Prevent health issues like dehydration, overexertion, or sunstroke by pacing activities, wearing loose breathable fabrics, and always carrying water when out and about.

Similarly, do not underestimate the winter months. While less intense than other global regions, December through February “winter” sees temperatures dipping to 10°C or lower. Pack and plan accordingly.

4- Not Understanding Islamic Customs

While a modern metropolis in many regards, local Emirati culture and laws derive from traditional Islamic roots. Take time to learn about local manners, dress codes, customs, and public behavior considered respectful. This helps avoid offending locals or breaking decency laws, which result in fines or jail time.

5- Importing Prohibited Items Unknowingly

To avoid confiscated goods or legal penalties while shipping to Dubai, research prohibited imports like certain electronics, food items, pets, alcohol, narcotics, etc. Likewise, certain prescription or over-the-counter medicines like codeine or melatonin are banned.

Work with a reputable shipping company that handles customs paperwork. Have them screen your items and provide guidance on import regulations.

6- Not Considering Healthcare Logistics

Get advice from your HR department and health insurance provider on how to transfer medical records, access care in the UAE, order prescription refills, and more. While facilities are modern, government options dictate assigned facilities and doctors. Private clinics can be costly without insurance. Also, research how to find English-speaking doctors if language poses an issue.

7- Underestimating Cost of Living Factors

Do diligent research into actual costs related to housing, tuition, utilities, petrol, groceries, and other services to create a realistic budget. While tax-free salaries sound attractive, some items can prove pricier than one’s home country. Understanding total financial responsibilities avoids nasty surprises down the line.

8- Attempting to Drive Without Conversion Training

While an international driver’s permit allows you to rent cars, driving courses are compulsory to obtain a UAE license. Moreover, navigating the ultra-modern highway system takes adjustment. Enroll in driving lessons to learn road rules and practical experience driving in desert conditions before braving the fast highways on your own.

9- Skipping Necessary Bank Set-up & Payments

Opening a local bank account, getting bank cards, checking credit implications, and arranging payment methods for utilities and housing involve administrative tasks. Start bank processes early to get everything settled before arrival and have funds for initial expenses. Attempting to navigate these systems last minute causes unnecessary hassles.

Read: Schools in Dubai: A Guide for Relocating American Families

10- Not Preparing Essential Documents

Having passport copies, visas, health cards, birth certificates, marriage licenses, driver’s licenses, qualification certificates and inventory checklists organized ahead of departure avoids delays in getting settled. Keep digital and physical copies protected yet accessible through your move.

Relocating brings inevitable surprises, but being prepared for aspects unique to the UAE sets you up for better transition success. Do your homework to avoid common mishaps that negatively impact your early days in the country. Leverage relocation guidance to pave a smooth landing and focus energy on adjusting to an entirely different cultural experience.


Popular Weekend Getaways from Dubai, Dubai is an exciting city with glitzy malls, soaring skyscrapers, and lively nightlife. However, sometimes you need a break from the hustle and bustle. When you feel the urge to escape and recharge, there are many amazing weekend getaway options just a short trip away that offers a change of scenery. From breathtaking beaches to thrilling theme parks, and desert safaris to mountain towns, you’ll discover something new no matter which direction you travel. Some popular weekend getaways from Dubai include adventures in the desert such as overnight camping trips or dune bashing, relaxing beach retreats in Fujeirah, family-friendly theme parks like Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, or taking a quick flight to Oman to experience a new culture and scenic mountain landscapes. With so many weekend getaways from Dubai to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect escape.

Enjoy Relaxing Beach Vibes in Umm Al Quwain

If spending lazy days by the water sounds like your ideal weekend, make the one-hour drive north to Umm Al Quwain. This emirate boasts miles of gorgeous white sand beaches kissing aquamarine waves. Spend hours basking in the sun and cooling off with a dip, taking Instagram shots, or trying water sports. Tour Khor Al Beidah’s protected mangrove creek by kayak for more exercise and pretty panoramas. At night, relax by a fire pit or gaze at the stars with sand between your toes.

Umm Al Quwain’s laidback atmosphere is a refreshing change from Dubai’s fast pace. Stay at a beachfront hotel like Barracuda Beach Resort to maximize relaxation. With toes-in-the-sand dining and poolside lounging right outside your door, you may never want to leave your plush lounge chair!

You may like: Import a Car from the USA to Dubai

Immerse Yourself in Sharjah’s Rich Culture

The neighboring emirate of Sharjah is less than 30 minutes away, making it one of the easiest weekend trips from Dubai. As the 2023 UNESCO World Book Capital, this emirate puts arts and culture at the forefront. Spend an enlightening few days exploring museums showcasing Islamic art and artifacts to contemporary installations.

Don’t miss the rainbow-colored Al Noor Island connected by a butterfly bridge. Stroll through botanical gardens filled with imaginatively designed treehouses and sculptures mixed with water features. As evening falls, Sharjah Fountain performs incredible music, light, and water shows certain to dazzle.

With a more conservative atmosphere than Dubai, Sharjah also appeals if you want museums and landmarks without wild nightlife. Treat yourself by booking a room at the luxurious Al Bait Hotel set in an intricately restored 1920s manor.

Have Family Fun at IMG Worlds of Adventure

If you’re traveling with kids or just want an adrenaline rush, spend a weekend at IMG Worlds of Adventure. This mega theme park 25 minutes from Dubai boasts roller coasters galore spread across five zones with movie and cartoon themes like Marvel and Cartoon Network. Thrill-seekers will love record-breaking rides like Velociraptor and Thor’s Thunder Spin while younger visitors adore gentler options like Ben 10 5D Hero Time.

When you need a break, there are plenty of places to refuel like diners, food trucks, and candy shops fitting each land’s imaginative theme. Let loose your inner child clambering through climbing zones or dancing at lively character parades and shows. Stay until sundown to see the park transform with dazzling light displays and fireworks extravaganzas.

Escape the desert for a few days of carefree family bonding at this air-conditioned wonderland. A hotel like IMG Worlds Hotel lets you extend the magic by decking out rooms in royal Arabian and superhero motifs.

Journey to ‘Ain Dubai’, World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel

If soaring views are what you’re after, head 20 minutes down the road from Dubai Marina to Bluewaters Island, a lively complex with shops, restaurants, and ‘Ain Dubai’. Translating to “Dubai Eye”, this record-breaking Ferris wheel towers above the Dubai skyline at over 250 meters tall. Step into one of 48 luxurious cabins decked out with leather seats and glass floors to check stomach-dropping vistas off your bucket list for up to 38 minutes per revolution.

Peer down at the Dubai Eye’s new neighbor, tourist hub The Pointe, and Palm Jumeirah’s fronds stretching into teal waters. Gaze out even further to catch Dubai Marina’s gleaming high-rises, Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa punctuating the cityscape. Don’t forget your camera to document unforgettable 360-degree panoramas from one of the highest observation wheels ever invented. Cap off the experience by watching the Ain Dubai light up vibrantly with a dazzling LED show each evening.

Day Trip through Epic Desert Landscapes

You can’t visit Dubai without venturing into iconic desertscapes. Take a 4×4 safari or dune buggy out from the city to bounce along towering golden sand dunes as the sun sets the ripples aflame in crimson and tangerine hues. Keep an eye out for camels wandering by remote Bedouin villages as your guide takes you to campsites where aromatic barbeque awaits. Lounge by a fire under a galaxy of stars listening to lively music and watching hypnotic Tanoura folk dances.

For more majestic desert scenery, Wadi Adventure in Al Ain, around 90 minute’s drive away beckons thrill-seekers to zip line, climb and kayak through a spectacular canyon landscape dotted with fossils, rock pools, and 3000-year-old petroglyphs etched with ancient carvings. Spend the night glamping under the stars for a true taste of desert tranquility without sacrificing creature comforts.

Read: Prohibited and Restricted Items for the UAE

Final Relaxing Stops

Sometimes you don’t have to travel far for a revitalizing escape. Simply driving 10 minutes towards Sharjah lands you among Ajman Hotel’s luxurious beachfront chalets with private pools, right on a pristine white sand beach. Savor leisurely dips and seafood dinners on your balcony absorbing tranquil ocean views.

For a quickbalanced getaway combining desert serenity with modern conveniences, the Al Maha Resort 40 minutes from Dubai welcomes you to stay in a private pool villa nestled amid undulating dunes. Sip cool drinks while lazing in your personal oasis then get active via guided nature walks, birdwatching, archery, and camel treks. Retire to your room to continue gazing over the tranquil desert vista.

No matter which destination calls to you for a weekend respite from Dubai’s kinetic energy, you’re guaranteed magnificent scenery and experiences to reinvigorate your spirit for city life’s next chapter upon your return.

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