Any individual associated with commercial trade or any business that requires shipping would know the importance of integral freight shipping. Moreover, they are familiar with the terms FCL and LCL. However, there are some who are still uncertain about the differences between FCL and LCL and, therefore, cannot decide which one to opt to transport their cargo. So, to have a proper & efficient shipping experience, it is important to understand the major differences between the two and then, choose one accordingly.
5 key-differences between FCL & LCL freight shipping one must know:
The terms FCL and LCL refer to the two important modes of vessel shipments. FCL stands for Full Container Load and LCL stands for Less than Container Load. The major differences between FCL and LCL that people should consider before booking their shipment are:
Volume of shipment-
Shipment volume is the total space that the transferred goods take up. This is generally measured in cubic feet and cubic metres. For a small value of shipment, LCL shipment is the right option. Goods of less than 3 cubic metre can be shipped with LCL under some circumstances. The FCL freight shipping is more economical when the shipment occupies more than 14 cubic metres and utilises more than 20 standard pallets.
Every shipper wants their cargo to be secure when travelling through oceans. An FCL freight shipping appears to be more secure as it can use the full container. Here, the cargo is not in contact with each other. However, in the case of LCL shipping, there is a risk of contamination from other goods. In some cases, LCL is a safer choice for the transportation of certain goods as small volumes of shipments are packed more compactly.
Cost of transportation-
Transportation cost is one of the primary factors to consider when deciding to go either for FCL or LCL. If you are shipping a small volume of merchandise i.e less than 15 cubic metres, go for LCL shipping. But, if the goods are of higher volume i.e above 14 cubic metres, then FCL freight shipping is a wise option. The rates of FCL freight shipping and LCL freight shipping can vary. FCL freight shipping is one of the easiest ways to ship internationally if you want the entire container for your own cargo.
Urgency of transportation-
When you are deciding which to choose between FCL and LCL, a major factor to consider is how the freight needs to reach the destination. In FCL, the shipments are transported much before the date of arrival. LCL shipping is better for shipments with flexible dates. In LCL transportation, there are more chances of delay, since it has to go through multiple handling. The goods are unloaded every time they arrive at the ports. In FCL shipping, the freight reaches straight at the right place without unloading it at the ports.
It was not possible earlier to track the commodities. With the advancement of technology, it is now feasible to track our goods. However, with the introduction of FCL freight shipment and modern technologies like GPS, Live tracking etc., customers can now get real-time updates about the shipments and can expect the shipping faster. But, people opting for LCL shipping might not get this advantage.
Different factors have to be taken into account when determining the right option for shipping. It is advisable to consider the capacity, the budget of the freight before choosing it for any shipment.