Less than Container Load

GLOSSARY

LCL (Less than Container Load)

LCL (Less-than-container Load) is a shipping term used to describe container loads which are filled by multiple orders or goods. When shipping a small volume of stock by container ship, it's more economical to combine your delivery with other orders. Transporting a shipment with other goods in the container is referred to as LCL. LCL describes ocean freight shipments of lower volume that do not require full-container capacity. Multiple shipments from different customers are grouped in order to create a consolidation, enabling cost advantages. Any space used in the container is subject to a charge. Since LCL shipments fill less than a full shipping container, they are grouped with other cargo, which is why they are sometimes called groupage shipments. A freight forwarder may create a "Consolidation" by putting together multiple LCL shipments at a CFS (container freight station) before gating in at the CY (container yard) at the origin, and deconsolidated at the destination.

What is LCL(Less than Container Load)?

LCL (Less-than-container Load) is a shipping term used to describe container loads which are filled by multiple orders or goods. When shipping a small volume of stock by container ship, it's more economical to combine your delivery with other orders. Transporting a shipment with other goods in the container is referred to as LCL. LCL describes ocean freight shipments of lower volume that do not require full-container capacity. Multiple shipments from different customers are grouped in order to create a consolidation, enabling cost advantages. Any space used in the container is subject to a charge. Since LCL shipments fill less than a full shipping container, they are grouped with other cargo, which is why they are sometimes called groupage shipments. A freight forwarder may create a "Consolidation" by putting together multiple LCL shipments at a CFS (container freight station) before gating in at the CY (container yard) at the origin, and deconsolidated at the destination.

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Key takeaways:

LCL (Less-than-container Load) is a shipping term used to describe container loads which are filled by multiple orders or goods.

As a groupage combines freight from numerous suppliers, there is a higher risk of contamination, spillage, logistical issues (items getting sent to the wrong buyer) and damage of goods.

Per unit, the costs of LCL are normally at a premium due to the additional logistics and management involved with shipping multiple goods in one container.

LCL is an alternative to FCL (Full Container Load) shipping.

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The Differences Between the Full Container Load (FCL) and the LCL(Less than Container Load):

An FCL shipment is used when a shipper bears the cost of the entire container and uses it exclusively for a single shipment, even if they do not have enough goods to fill it up. On the other hand, an LCL shipment means shippers share the containers with other shipments and only need to pay for the space used.

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Notes:

LCL is the alternative to FCL shipping for anyone without a lot of goods to import at once. Though it's more expensive per item to ship LCL, it's cheaper overall if you're not shipping bulk.