FCL and LCL shipping guide

LCL or FCL Shipping: The Complete FAQ Guide

If you are shipping from China, you need to understand the FCL shipping and LCL shipping.

Some times, you can save a lot of money if you find the best shipping solution between the FCL and LCL shipping.

Not every time, when your goods not enough for one full container, you have to choose LCL shipping.

Some times, FCL shipping cost even less than the LCL shipping. So check our FAQ guide and to be the expert for this meaning.

FCL and LCL shipping guide

What is LCL shipping?

LCL in full refers to Less than Container, it refers to a situation where an importer or exporter has to share the space in a container with another importer or exporter.

In LCL shipping, the goods are marked with a symbol to help identify your goods.

The marks are also used to classify the goods based on how fragile they are, for example, the color red or orange is used for dangerous cargo.

How is it different from FCL shipping?

LCL is different from FCL shipping because you do not have to pay for the whole container space, whereas in FCL, you pay for the whole container.

FCL refers to Full Container Load.

There is a fixed rate for using the whole container regardless of whether your goods fill it up or not.

There are different types of containers available for FCL shipping.


Which is Best? FCl or LCL?

Generally, FCL shipping is faster than LCL as they do not need to go through many stops.

Your goods are safer in FCL shipping as you’ll have more control over how your goods are handled.

Per cargo unit, FCL shipping is also cheaper than LCL though it might be better to use LCL if the shipments are very small.

In FCL shipping, there may be restrictions on the minimum volume you have to import or export.

It all depends on the size of your goods and the fragility.

LCL and FCl shipping

How do I calculate an LCL import price?

LCL shipments are calculated by either measuring the weight of the goods or the cubic meter (Cbm).

If the cost as calculated by the weight of the goods is more than that of the volume (cbm), then the weight cost will be used.

If the volume cost is greater, the volume cost will be used.

How is the CBM calculated?

CBM is used when the total weight of the goods is not more than one ton.

To calculate the CBM, the length, width, and height of the goods are multiplied.

In a situation where the length of the product is 2.3 meters long, while the height is 1.4 meters with the width at 2 meters, then the volume can be calculated by multiplying the three– 2.3 x 1.4 x 2, which gives 6.44 CBM.

This CBM would then be multiplied by whichever rate the freight forwarder gives.

What is the FCL container size?

There are many types of container sizes in FCL for moving different types of products.

There is the 20- foot container for moving dry cargo, which has a length of 5.932 meters, with the width at 2.350m and the height at 2.410 m.

The cubic capacity of this 20-foot container is 33.6 CBM or 1166 Cubic ft.

The maximum payload is 18600 kg.

There is the 40-foot dry cargo container with a length of 12.043m, a width of 2.336m and a height of 2.379m.

The CBM is 67/ 2366 cubic feet. The maximum payload is 27340kg.

There other dry cargo container types, see the image below:

Types of containers

There are also refrigerated FCL containers used for moving perishable goods.

Refrigerated containers

Flat rack containers

Flat Racks

Open Top containers

Open top containers

Tank Containers

Tank containers

These containers might have slight differences based on each country.

What is the FCL shipment procedure?

In FCL shipping, an empty freight container is picked up at the container yard, it is then moved to the shipper facility where the goods will be loaded onto the container.

After this, it will be transported to the loading port by either truck or rail after it will then be shipped.

The container then stops at the port of arrival from where it moves to the final destination.

What are Shipping Incoterms?

Incoterms in full stands for International Commercial Terms.

They are trade terms used in international and domestic trade fronts for the sale of goods and were developed by the International Chamber of Commerce.

To prevent problems or misunderstanding, these trade terms have been widely adopted by shippers, traders, and the government.

The shipping Incoterms include FCA, EXW, CIF, etc.

How can one find the best FCL and LCL shipping prices?

For LCL shipping, only work with a freight forwarder that has his own LCL container.

It will be cheaper this way as he does not have to pay a commission for the container.

To get the best FCL shipping prices, contact many providers and compare their prices with each other.

Go to the cheapest provider.

What are palletized LCL shipments?

Palletized shipments are goods placed on a wooden platform called a pallet.

The goods are placed on the pallet and wrapped with bands and foil to keep them together.

This is the best way to transport cargo as the goods will be protected.

Palletised cargo

What is Loose LCL Cargo?

Loose LCL cargo refers to goods that are stacked on top of each other during transportation.

Though loose loaded cargo will save space and cost, it is not a very safe way to transport goods.

Loose LCl cargo

How much will ship a full 20ft container cost?

Though the price varies depending on a number of factors, shipping a full 20ft container should normally cost about £1,000 to £2000.

How can one track goods in FCL shipping?

The movement of the goods in FCL shipping can be tracked by either checking the shipping line website or by contacting the shipping agent.

Is it possible to track goods in LCL shipping?

Goods can be tracked in LCL shipping through the container number/Bill of lading/booking number.

What are the types of tracking system

There is the standard container tracking system and there is the GPS container tracking system.

The Standard container tracking system observes the movement of the cargo once it goes through important ports and stops.

The GPS container tracking system shows where the container is exactly anywhere in the world.

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