How to Choose Container Shipping? LCL vs FCL

Nowadays, global businesses need the best shipping delivery services to deliver their goods to their customers in various countries across the seas. They also need to deliver their products to their warehouses in various countries for easier local shipments.

How to Choose Container Shipping LCL vs FCL

For ocean shipping and delivery, there are two basic options you can choose, which are LCL and FCL. Which one should you choose for your shipping and delivery process?

Understanding the Differences between LCL and FCL Shipping

LCL and FCL shipping have their own differences. LCL stands for Less Container Load, which means it is the shipping method where you use the part of the shipping container and share the container with other shippers.

Meanwhile, FCL stands for Full Container Load, meaning that it is the shipping method where you use the full container for your own products to ship. Of course, these two shipping methods have their own pros and cons.

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LCL Shipping Benefits and Disadvantages

LCL shipping offers you various benefits, such as: 

  • cheaper shipping costs because you are using only part of the container, 
  • flexibility to ship your products as you see fit, 
  • shipping availability, 
  • and many others. 

With LCL, you can ship your products in any quantity you want, as you will pay the shipping costs per CBM (cubic meters), so you can ship the orders from your customers right away.

However, LCL will also have its own disadvantages. For instance, with LCL, you will need to wait longer for your products to arrive at your customers’ doors, as you will share the container with other shippers, meaning that it will get loaded, unloaded, and sorted at each shipping port or checkpoint. 

LCL is also less secure when compared to FCL, as you can’t control the full security of your products just like you do with full container shipping.

You might also have a higher risk of your products getting damaged during shipment, so it’s not a recommended shipping method if you need to deliver fragile products overseas.

FCL Shipping Benefits and Disadvantages

With FCL, you can get many benefits in your shipping. For instance, FCL offers you full container shipping, which means you will have the flexibility to control various aspects of the shipping container you are using to deliver your products.

Also, you don’t share the container with other shippers, meaning that your products will get to the destination faster, as there will be no hassles in loading, unloading, and sorting the container at each port or shipping checkpoint.

FCL also gives you the best security features for your products during shipment, and you can also protect your products better from potential damages.

However, FCL also has its own disadvantages, such as more expensive shipping costs, and you will also need to put large volumes of products for each shipment.

So, with FCL, you will need to pay more for all the extra features and faster speed you will get for your shipments, and unless you have large volumes of products to ship and fill the whole container, FCL will not be worth it for you. 

Choosing between LCL and FCL

Choosing between LCL and FCL shipping will depend on your needs. For instance, if you operate a company that requires you to send big volumes of shipments that can fit several containers in each shipment, it would be better for you to use the Full Container Load (FCL) shipment to send your products to their destinations with the best security features and the fastest speed.

FCL will ensure the security and protection of your products during shipment, and it will also ensure that your products will arrive on time.

Meanwhile, if you have low shipping volumes for your products, which don’t fit the full container for each shipment, it will be better for you to use the Less Container Load (LCL) shipping.

It will allow you to process your orders as soon as possible without waiting to fill the full container, and it will also help you save more money on shipping costs.

However, your shipments might arrive longer because of the loading, unloading, and sorting process at each shipping port, which might affect your delivery performance. 

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Conclusion

LCL and FCL are different shipping options you can use based on your needs. FCL gives you the best features, fastest speed, product protection, and flexibility, but you will need to pay more for each shipment.

Meanwhile, LCL is the shipping option that you can use for your everyday shipping needs, as it provides you with a low-cost shipping solution with no minimum shipping volume. 

You can pick the best one for you by assessing your shipping needs and the shipping budget you are ready to spend.

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