What is LCL Shipping?
LCL Shipment (Less Than Container Load) is the process of shipping goods via sea freight using a shared container with other goods. It is used for cargo loads not large enough to fill a full 20ft or 40ft shipping container. Therefore, it can be a great cheaper alternative without having to fill an entire container with your goods or buy enough stock to fill an entire container.
How is the LCL Shipment Price Calculated?
There are a variety of factors that impact the LCL shipping price. The volume of space being used inside the container is the most obvious, however, you can often double the space being used without impacting the cost. Other factors need to be considered such as the pickup of the goods. The cost of picking up your shipment from the warehouse or factory. LCL shipments need to be loaded onto containers along with other shipments at a container freight station, often referred to as retainer stuffing. Then once the shipment has arrived at its destination the goods need to be stopped at a CFS for deconsolidation/unstuffing. Finally, the delivery costs of trucking your goods to the destination warehouse.
It is often a cheaper mode of transport in comparison to other modes of transport due to the large availability of space. However, the minimum space that you pay for usage of is 1cbm (100cm x 100cm x 100cm). So, if you’re only shipping one small box then you’d still be paying for 5x the volume of that.
What are the Benefits of LCL Shipping?
Lower rates in comparison to air freight costs. It is also cheaper than the FCL model, as companies will only pay for the space they take up in a container. Committing 2, 4, or however many pallets consistently
LCL shipping method provides easy time management and scheduling. Aver Logistics can provide dedicated scheduling pick-up, transit, and delivery of freight. The team can devise a plan on how to move your freight most economically.
– Increased likelihood of space even during busy periods.
– Cheaper than air freight prices
– Save on inventory costs
– Good for scheduling and efficient delivery times
What are the Disadvantages of LCL Shipping?
There can be an added risk of damage to your goods when using LCL shipping. You have no control over the other cargo loaded in the same container as your goods. Therefore, there is the potential for something heavy or container fluids could shift in transit and damage your shipment. Also, the multiple destinations for different goods does increase the chance of goods being lost or misplaced. We always recommend using an insurance policy (more information on shipping insurance can be found here).
There is the potential for delays in most freight shipping methods, but with LCL shipping the risk is much greater. This is mainly due to the handling process and the grouping of pieces of cargo together to fill a container.
– Higher cost per unit
– Potential for damage during transit
– Delays can arise
– Longer transit times
How long does LCL Shipping take?
The typical transit time for an LCL shipment is approximately 6-10 weeks depending on the origin and destination. The consolidation and deconsolidation stages add additional time to this method.
When to use an LCL Shipping method?
Although this shipping method does have its drawbacks, often the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for many businesses and is therefore still a popular method. It is helpful to know when the best time to ship using an LCL method. There are five factors to consider:
• the gross weight
• product category
The volume of the shipment is computed by the amount of space it occupies. The gross weight is the total weight of the shipment as a whole, including the weight of the packaging and master cartons. The product category also needs to be considered as some products are not allowed to be shipped by air due to airline restrictions. The specific route needs to be taken into consideration as not all sea freight routes can use the LCL method. The speed of shipment can be essential, therefore the time restrictions of LCL could result in selecting a faster method.
Our Most Popular Shipping Routes
- Shenzhen to Felixstowe/Southampton
- Ningbo to Felixstowe/Southampton
- Shanghai to Felixstowe/Southampton
- Guangzhou to Felixstowe/Southampton
- Xiamen to Felixstowe/Southampton
- Manchester/London Gateway to New York
- Liverpool/Southampton/London Gateway to Los Angeles