Ocean Freight Shipping: FCL VS LCL

Ocean freight shipping is one of the most reliable means of transporting bulk items and it can also accommodate varying cargo sizes. FCL (Full Container Load) and LCL (Less Than Container Load) are the two most common types of shipping options. FTL freight shipping is when one party owns all goods in a container, while LTL freight shipping is where multiple shippers’ goods are packed together.

Shipping decisions are sometimes determined by business needs, commodity type, stock requirements, and cost.  For example, FCL is the perfect choice for bulk goods and large-volume products, while LCL is ideal for smaller and more adaptable product inventory. We have prepared this detailed guide to help you choose the right load type for your shipment.

Full Container Load

FCL is the right choice when choosing affordable bulk shipping. Full container load shipments are mostly 20-foot containers and upwards. This type of shipment is priced at a flat rate depending on the container size and favors those who are using most or all of the containers. FCL is ideal if you want to import a lot of stock at once. You can as well wait until you have more orders to ship to cut costs.

In terms of security, FCL is customarily loaded and sealed by the supplier. The shipping company is not involved in this process, thereby reducing the number of people touching your goods. Due to its unconsolidated nature, it is easy to track your freight at any given time.

On the other hand, Full Container Load is quicker compared to Less Than Container Load. However, the difference is not that much due to the small number of people involved in packing and at times you may be involved with unloading.

FCL offers less flexibility when it comes to delivery options and is less convenient. Most of the shipping containers are transported using a combination of ocean, rail, and road to reach the destination.

Less than Container Load

LCL is the best choice when choosing convenient shipping. It favors importers who do not have a lot of goods to transport at once. Less than container load is more flexible making delivery appointments easier. With this option, you just order and wait for your inventory to arrive.

Shipping LCL is ideal for importers who are ordering small volume products and allows them to top off their favorite items without having to wait for a full shipment. Less Than Container load allows you to share the container with other shippers. The charges depend on volume in cubic meters making it cost-effective for smaller shipments.

Some of the downsides of LCL is that you’ll have to wait until you get enough back-ordered stock to use FCL shipment. Also, more people interact with your goods increasing the chances of your stock getting damaged. With LCL, it is hard to track your shipment and it normally takes a few days longer to arrive compared to FCL.

Cross-Border & Freight Broker Services

Both LCL and FCL shipping have benefits and drawbacks, therefore, it is wise to calculate the cost vs. volume of your shipment. Amplify Logistics offers wide-ranging freight services including LCL, FCL, and Break Bulk shipping.

We will help you choose the right load type depending on how fast and safe you want your cargo delivered. Call us today to get streamlined ocean freight shipping solutions that will suit your company’s needs and budget.