LCL shipping (Less than Container Load, or groupage shipping) refers to the ability to ship smaller consignments of goods by sharing containers with other products being shipped to the same location. This highly effective service allows smaller companies to ship products more efficiently, and larger companies to transport their cargo at more regular intervals rather than waiting on Full Container Loads (FCL Shipping). This flexibility, when applied correctly, can be highly profitable – but does mean the choice between LCL and FCL shipping is not always obvious.
Less than Container Load (or LCL shipping) freight is evolving from simply being the shipment of less than a container load freight to being a tool to allow you to reduce inventory levels and ship smaller order sizes in keeping with products’ shorter life cycles. Key to this is our simplified pricing structure and tariff. CCT is able to achieve this as we operate our own dedicated LCL service from and to all the key global markets. We handle cargo in our own facilities enabling us to have the fastest lead times.
Firstly, you should work out if you can fill (or nearly fill) a full container. Containers typically come in sizes of 20′ (Twenty foot equivalent units or TEUs) and 40′ (Forty foot equivalent units or FEUs). With containers, volume is almost always more important than weight (conversely to air freight).
When using LCL, prices are normally given for cubic metre measurements (cbm), with a minimum price of 1 cbm being used even for very small shipments. A 20 foot container has a volume of 33 cbm, a 40 foot container 66 cbm. If your shipment mostly fills one of these containers, FCL shipping can be more efficient and provides more control over your own stock.
Not sure which suits you best? CCT are very experienced freight forwarding professionals and are happy to offer you advice – just get in touch with us to begin a conversation.
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