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National Motor Freight Classification 100-AV ITEM 181 Package Testing

As a Freight Classification Development Council (FCDC) registered testing lab, we realize the importance of National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) testing. Meeting the NMFC requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.

Keystone creates an accurate test plan to eliminate expensive over-testing. Keystone also takes a consultative approach throughout the entire test program. Our pricing is competitive and we offer volume discounts. Keystone provides the peace of mind that all of your needs will be met.

Have a question about NMFC ITEM 181 testing? Contact us and we will determine the best course of action. Request a quote and find out first hand about our competitive pricing, timely process, and outstanding reputation.  

Summary of NMFC 100-AV ITEM 181 Package Testing

ITEM 181 is provided as an alternative for 100-AV ITEM 180. ITEM 181 can also be referred to as NMFC Rule 181. NMFC Rule 181 is used to determine transportation problems and an acceptable assurance level for the packaging of furniture. Note that this standard only represents the normal handling and distribution of boxed furniture or furniture parts.

On the other hand, ITEM 181 does not apply to packages utilizing stretch or shrink plastic film wrap. The package testing standard only applies to furniture that is fully contained within corrugated fiberboard shipping containers.

ITEM 181 Package Testing Lab Procedures


First, the unit is conditioned in an atmosphere of 23 ℃ with a relative humidity of 50%. This is carried out for a minimum of 24 hours. Testing is generally performed in the same minimum atmosphere. Conditions are recorded for each test conducted.

Compression and Vibration

After conditioning the samples, one of two compression and vibration tests are performed.

Method A: Stacked Compressive Load/Vibration

When conducting method A, the shipping unit is vibration tested under a stacked compressive load. This is carried out using either an identical shipping unit or a concentrated dead weight.

Method B: Separate Compressive Load/Vibration

When subjecting shipping units to this test, the compression and vibration tests are performed separately. The compression test is either conducted in accordance with ASTM D642 or ASTM D4577. The vibration test is carried out in accordance with ASTM D4169.

Impact and Handling

Following the compression and vibration tests, the same shipping unit is subjected to one of the following impact/handling procedures.

Procedure A – Under 150 lbs, perform a free-fall drop test on size faces, three edges, and one corner.

Procedure B – Greater than 150 lbs, perform an inclined impact test according to ASTM D880, or a horizontal impact test.

Results and Report

Test methods, conditions, and results are recorded after the completion of the NMFC 100-AV ITEM 181 test. The report also encompasses information such as the following. Note that this list is not intended to be all-inclusive.

  • Shipper requesting tests
  • Description of the article including model number, size, weight, and other distinguishing features
  • Description of shipping unit including specifications of the container and interior packaging
  • Testing performed
  • Conditioning and test conditions
  • Acceptance criteria
  • Condition of specimens
  • Name of the lab testing engineer, date, email address, etc.

Expert NMFC 100-AV ITEM 181 Package Testing Facility

Keystone Compliance partners with customers to achieve package compliance. When packages do not meet the requirements, we assist with finding solutions. In addition to ASTM – testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including accelerated aging, flexible package, and sterile barrier. We can accommodate flexible and rigid packages of all sizes, including large pallets.

Contact us to receive more information on NMFC 100-AV ITEM 181 package testing. Request a quote to receive testing services customized to your specific needs. 

Please follow the links below for more information on Freight Classification Development Council (FCDC) and National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) testing.

NMFC 100-AV ITEM 180

NMFC 100-AV ITEM 181