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A Guide to LCL and FCL

LCL and FCL Guide Container Image

So, you need to ship your precious cargo, but don’t know where to begin or how to choose the best method to save time, money and get peace of mind.

LCL? FCL? What’s that? When it comes to understanding LCL and FCL shipments, there are several variables to take into consideration, which will help you make the right decision.

LCL (Less container load)

The name says it all. These shipments are made up of small volume cargoes that come from multiple shippers. They are grouped together in one single container for transport.

For small to medium sized companies, LCL is the way to go if inventory volumes are being
closely monitored to avoid keeping large amounts in stock. Transporting large deliveries from suppliers can thwart cash flow. This risk can be avoided with LCL since there is a consistent stream of inventory in smaller doses. A small LCL shipment is also a handy way to test out the capability and reliability of a potential supplier.

The cost per-cubic meter can be a bit higher than FCL, so be sure to watch the packaging and labelling of your cargo. Transit time can be unpredictable, because you are sharing a container with other shippers. Delays are possible while cargo is being organized and packed at origin.

FCL (Full container load)

This is the opposite of LCL. Shippers transporting a large cargo volume can utilize a single container for their own, exclusive use.

If the shipment is more than 15 cubic meters, FCL can save you money and time since a) filling a container means fewer shipments overall, depending on the flexibility of the supply chain b) FCL transit time can be faster because additional time is needed to organize and fill a shared container at origin. This also eliminates the worry of theft or mishandled cargo.

If you are new to the world of shipping, feel free to contact us with any questions! With years of transportation and logistics experience under our belts, we can walk you through the process and provide top-quality shipping, freight, and drayage services at unbeatable rates.

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