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Should I Ship by LCL or FCL?

logistics and shipping company

In the shipping world it’s common to hear the question, should I ship my freight by FCL or LCL? In this article, we’ll explain everything for you to choose the option that best suits you and your cargo. 

Let’s begin by defining what LCL and FLC stand for. Full Container Load also know as FCL, is large cargo that you don’t want to transport with other cargo. In other words, shipments where all products, goods, or machinery are owned by one party. On the other hand, LCL means Less than Container Load and it’s when you share container space with others that are also shipping cargo; multiple shippers’ products packed together. 

Full Container Load factors to consider: 

  • FCL may be cheaper than LCL per unit of freight. This is because freight agents prefer a full container load since it’s easier than figuring out how to bundle many LCL shipments in a full container.
  • Many final destinations require a delivery appointment. With FCL shipments, you might not be able to get an appointment within the “free” time. 
  • Despite that, the bright side is that FCL gets delivered more quickly. Once it arrives at the port, it is unloaded and delivered to the buyer.

Less than Container Load factors to consider: 

  • LCL lets you keep inventory low, therefore it’s a cost-effective option for shipping smaller loads.
  •  LCL lets you ship in smaller volumes, this is a good choice if you have a budget or don’t have space to accommodate a full container at your warehouse.
  • An LCL shipment will be consolidated with other shipments into one container.
  • With an LCL shipment, you have more ease when it comes to delivery appointments. 
  • Delivery may take more time since they have to consolidate different shipments and process multiple documents per container. 

Taking these points into consideration might help you make it easier to decide between FLC or LCL. It is always good to talk with a logistics and shipping expert to advise you on the best option regarding your shipment of goods. At JML we make it our responsibility to work closely with you and your business, in order to identify and provide the solution tailored to meet your needs. Contact us and let us help you with all your inquiries.

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