The Difference Between LCL & FCL

What Is FCL Shipping & How It Works?

FCL Container Shipping

If shipper books an FCL (Full Container Load) container then shipper owns exclusevely full container. A full container load (FCL) is loaded and unloaded under the risk and account of one shipper and only one consignee. The cargo in the container need not have fully loaded cargo in the container. Let the cargo be half loaded or quarter loaded container, if booked by one shipper under one shipment, the said shipment is called FCL shipment.

Advantages of FCL Container

  • More cost effective when transporting over 15 cubic meters (approx half cubic space of 20ft GP container)
  • More cost effective than air freight (although longer transit time)
  • Generally faster transit (compared to LCL) due to less general handling and unforeseen delays
  • High security and fewer risks of damage to the cargo because container is handled less

Disadvantages of FCL Container

Not cost effective unless shipping more than 15 cubic meters (in a 20ft GP container).

What Is LCL Shipping & How It Works?

LCL Container Shipping

Under an LCL cargo, where in a shipper does not have enough goods to accommodate in one full container, he books cargo with a consolidator to console his goods along with goods of other shippers. This type of shipment is called LCL shipment. The said consolidator arranges a fully loaded container, and consoles the shipments of other shippers and deliver each shipment to final destination by separating each shipment at final destination.

Advantages of LCL Container

  • Most cost effective for consignments not suitable for FCL
  • More cost effective than air freight (although longer transit time)
  • Best transportation method for small volume shipments
  • Smaller orders reduce inventory investment and allow shippers more flexibility

Disadvantages of LCL Container

  • More expensive per cubic meter when compared to FCL
  • Possible delays waiting for other consignments being grouped in container
  • Possible delays at customs due to other companies cargo (incorrect documentation etc)
  • Cargo can be damaged in transit if other consignments not correctly packaged or packed into the container

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