LCL is a shortening for Less than a Container Load, which describes sea transportation for shipment loads too small to fill a 20- or 40-foot shipping container. LCL shipments are combined with other shipments. Because they do not fill 20-ft or 40-ft shipping containers. LCL shipments can also be called groupage shipments.

What is LCL Shipping Costs ?

LCL costs are calculated primarily based on volume, typically expressed in cubic meters (CBM). More space means more money. LCL shipping prices are also affected by weight. However, because container ships can handle a large amount of weight and transport much of it, volume has tended to be more critical.

Pickup: Cost of pick up your shipment in the warehouse.

Origin: LCLs need to be loaded on containers with other shipments. They can also be combined at a Container Freight Center (CFC). Container stuffing is another name for this process.

Central leg: The cost of the sea voyage. Although this is the central portion of the shipment, it may cost little. Charges at the CFS are sometimes very high because of the large machines and personnel required.

Location: After arriving at the destination, LCL shipments must stop in a CFS facility for deconsolidation or unstuffing.

Delivery: Cost of hauling your goods from the warehouse to the destination.

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The advantages and disadvantages of LCL Shipping

Advantages of LCL Shipping

  • With LCL shipping, you only pay for the volume of goods you are shipping. There is no flat rate like FCL.
  • Spending less space on storage means shipping fewer items more often.
  • LCL costs less than air freight. You can reduce shipping costs by waiting for your shipment.
  • If container capacity is limited (for example, during peak shipping seasons or other periods with high shipping volume), LCLs can be found more easily and shipped faster than FCLs.

Disadvantages of LCL Shipping

  • LCLs must be unloaded and loaded from containers. This can add a couple of days to your journey.
  • LCL is more expensive per cubic foot than FCL, sometimes twice as high.
  • The delays caused by other shipments can cause your items to be delayed as well.
  • LCL merchandise is handled more, which increases the chance of damage and loss.

LCL or FCL Shipping – Which one is better ?

LCL is ideal for small loads. However, sometimes it’s better to pay for a full container, even if the load isn’t large enough. LCL costs more for each CBM compared to FCL. Once you reach a certain volume, a full container may be the best option. Shipping FCL is slightly more expensive, but you get many benefits, including faster transit times and less chance of damage.