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Fcl vs Lcl: Which container to choose for shipping (meaning, differences, pros, and cons)

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When transporting goods, either by sea or air freight, the volume, weight, and density all significantly impact the final cost. And both LCL (Less than Container Load) and FCL (Full Container Load) shipments have advantages and disadvantages. How can you figure out which one is better for your business?

Fcl vs lcl meaning in shipping terms



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FCL meaning

FCL (Full Container Load) or full container refers to transporting a client’s goods in a fully loaded and sealed container. The main advantage of using this type of service is that it allows you to ship multiple items together in one shipment.

LCL Meaning

LCL (Less than Container Load) or grouped shipment refers to the goods of one client being insufficient to fill a container. The goods of several clients are combined into one container. The goods are shipped by air or ocean freight. LCL is an ideal solution for customers who want to transport a small number of goods in one trip but do not want to spend money on large-scale shipments.

Full container load vs less container load: when to use

What is the difference between fcl and lcl shipments? The main difference between a full container load (FCL) and a less than container load (LCL) shipment is the size of the shipment. In an FCL shipment, the shipper pays for the entire container, regardless of how much space his goods use. The carrier charges him a fee for each cubic foot of space used by his goods. When a less than container load shipment (LCL) is used, the shipper may pay for only part of a container.

LCL shipment procedure

The LCL shipment procedure is a process that ensures that your cargo is loaded onto the ship in the best way. A good LCL shipment procedure will ensure your cargo is loaded efficiently and properly secured to avoid damage or loss during transit.

LCL shipment procedure:

1. Booking an LCL
2. Getting your merchandise ready
3. Transfer to port
4. Transshipment
5. Arrival at destination
6. Receiving your merchandise

Fcl shipment procedure

The FCL shipment procedure is the most important part of the shipping process. With proper care, your goods will arrive at their destination in good condition and on time.

FCL shipment procedure:

1. Warehouse deliveries are classified as either live or drop.
2. The container is unloaded while the driver waits in a live unload.
3. If a warehouse is particularly crowded, you should perform a drop.
4. When the unloading is finished, the driver returns to pick up the container.
5. Drop is usually more expensive than live because the driver must make two trips.

Difference between LCL and fcl container shipping

There are many kinds of shipping containers that come in different sizes. They can also be used for different purposes. You may use a full container load (FCL) or a less than container load (LCL) shipping method when you ship from China to the United States. The difference between these two types of shipping depends on how much space you need for your goods and how much it costs to ship them.

fcl vs lcl shipment risks and security

The difference between LCL and fcl shipment is that FCL is safer than LCL. In FCL, the goods are packed and loaded into a container which is then sealed by the customs of both the sending and receiving countries. This way, there will be no tampering with the goods, and they will be out of reach of unauthorized personnel.

In comparison, it is harder for LCL shipments to keep track of who has handled your goods as they are not packed into a single container. This means that if there are any damages or losses to your goods during transit, you may have difficulty proving that it was not due to negligence by the shipping company.

Should I go with FCL or LCL?

Even if you don’t completely fill the container, the general rule of thumb is to ship LCL for low-volume shipments and FCL for higher-volume shipments. The difference between these two types of shipping is how much room is available in the container.

If cargo goes with Fcl shipping

The most important fact about FCL shipping is that it is a way to send large amounts of goods. If you are looking for a way to send your cargo with a high level of security and care, then FCL shipping is the only way to go.

If cargo goes with Lcl Shipping

When you’re shipping cargo, LCL (less than container load) shipping may be a good option. This is a type of freight shipping where you don’t need to fill an entire container. You may have just one or two items to move, and LCL shipping can give you the flexibility to ship them on your own.

FCL VS LCL container transit & shipping time

Why is there a difference in transit time between FCL and LCL cargo to the same destination?
There is a significant difference between FCL and LCL cargos and the transit time. If you ship FCL cargo to the same destination, it will take less time than if you ship LCL cargo to the same destination because when you ship FCL cargo, your cargo will be loaded onto a container vessel or air freight carrier and then transported directly to its final destination.

Is LCL faster than FCL?

FCL shipments tend to have fewer stops along the way than LCL shipments do. This means that they get to their destination quicker because they don’t have to stop at each port along the way. As a result, you’ll typically receive your shipment in less time with an FCL shipment than you would with an LCL shipment.

Fcl freight shipping time

With FCL, you will receive a full container of your products and can be delivered to your country within 25-45 days. It is important to note that this time frame may vary based on where your products are being shipped from and to.

LCL freight shipping time

The transit time for an LCL shipment to the US typically takes 4 to 6 weeks from the vessel’s departure date, compared to 5 to 9 days if shipped via air cargo. The exact transit time depends on many factors, including whether your goods are loaded directly onto a vessel or need to be transferred at an inland port.

Fcl vs lcl shipment volume

For low-volume shipments of 2 to 13m3, LCL shipments are usually the better option. FCL shipments are typically less expensive when they use more than 10 standard pallets or take up more than 14m3.

Fcl container size

FCL standard container sizes are 20′ and 40′, with both offering standard and high. FCL high cube containers offer more cubic space than a standard container, allowing for increased capacity for larger shipments.

Lcl container size

When your cargo is less than 33 cubic meters (1200 cubic feet), LCL shipping is the best option. It’s a kind of bulk cargo shipment where you can opt for any number of shipments to carry your products.

Fcl vs LCL shipment weight

full container load volume

The FCL agreement can be used for any shipment, regardless of volume. However, if the total volume of the load is 15 CBM or greater, it is best to book a full container. If your shipment’s total volume is less than 15 CBM and you wish to ship by FCL, you can use this agreement to book a partial container.

less than full container load: what is LCL weight

LCL (Less than Container Load) is an alternative to FCL (Full Container Load). LCL shipments represent the majority of goods shipped by sea. LCL is ideal for shipments weighing less than 15 CBM. Although the minimum chargeable volume is 1 CBM, it can be used for shipments as small as 1 CBM.

fcl vs lcl cost: which is cheaper

Why is lcl more expensive than fcl?

LCL is more expensive per unit of freight than FCL. This is because freight agents prefer full container loads because it is easier for them to figure out how to bundle numerous LCL shipments into a single shipment.

FCL Charges

Major container sizes are charged a flat rate by shipping companies. This includes 20′, 40′, and 40′ high cube containers. The fee is determined by a number of factors, including where the money is coming from, where it is going, volume, time of year, and many others.

LCL Charges

The LCL ocean freight charge is frequently labeled “W/M,” which stands for weight or measurement. The W/M rate is determined by the total weight of a shipment and the dimensions of the space that is available inside the shipping container.

lcl vs fcl pros and cons: Summary

Fcl logistics Lcl logistics
  • Reduced transit time
  • Lower risk of damage
  • Lower unit price
  • Far less expensive than air freight
  • Ideal for shipping small loads
  • Lower inventory and management costs
  • Reduced sourcing risk
  • Easier to find space during peak season
  • Increased inventory costs
  • Expensive for light loads.
  • Unloading can be difficult.
  • Limited delivery options
  • Increased transit time
  • Increased unit cost
  • Delays may occur.
  • Damage is more likely

Get a lcl shipment quote

In the shipping industry, it is necessary for a carrier to provide a quote for each load. This is because the cost of shipping will be dependent on various factors such as the type of cargo being carried, its size and weight, the distance it needs to travel, and other factors. Carriers can also use quotes to establish their own rates in the market.

Get an fcl shipment quote

When shipping an fcl, or full container load, it is important to have a good understanding of how the shipping company calculates its price. There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of your shipment and it is important that you are aware of them before booking your shipment.

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