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If you’re looking into your shipping options, you might have come across FCL and LCL shipping. These terms are commonly used by Shipping Companies or Sea Freight Companies such as ourselves. But what’s the difference? And which is the best option for your Business? We have put together some further information for you.


The Difference Between FCL And LCL Shipping


First, let’s take a look at what FCL and LCL stand for. While FCL shipping means “Full Container Load”, LCL stands for “Less than Container Loads”. For greater clarity we have included a more in-depth description.


FCL Shipments


FCL shipments occupy the entire container space, so your shipment won’t share a container with other items. Basically, your shipment will have its own dedicated container.


LCL Shipments


LCL shipments, sometimes referred to as Groupage means your shipment will only take up a percentage of the space in the container. The rest of the container will be filled with items from other Businesses.


How To Choose Between FCL And LCL


There are a few deciding factors to consider when choosing FCL vs. LCL shipping – such as your shipment volume, urgency, and safety. All of these will be discussed with you when you get in touch with KMB Shipping Group.


Your Shipment Volume


It makes sense that if you have low-volume shipment to transport, you should consider getting an LCL shipment. You don’t need the space inside a whole container for your shipment, so why pay more for an FCL?

If your shipment is between 2 and 13 metres cubed, LCL is highly likely to be the most cost-effective option for you. If it is greater than 13 metres cubed, FCL will become a logical choice. This being said, all International Freight Forwarding companies are different. Each will offer their own rate for your shipment size and container option.

So if you are just looking for a quote, make sure you chat to specific shipping companies about their rates and at what point FCL could be a more economical option for your load than LCL.


The Urgency Of Your Shipment


You’ll also want to take into account the urgency of your shipment. Generally speaking, FCL is a preferable option if your shipment is urgent. However, if you have some flexibility with your dates, LCL can be a perfectly suitable option. An LCL will go through multiple handling at different transshipments, which can cause delays. But if you don’t have a pressing timeframe for shipping, this might not be a big concern for you or your Business.


The Safety Of Your Shipment


Also consider the type of product that you’re shipping and how an FCL or LCL shipping method could impact its safety. Some Businesses feel that FCL is more secure for them, as they have rights to the entire container. If you’re looking to mitigate the risk of loss, damage, or contamination while shipping, you might be willing to pay a little more for FCL. 

Nevertheless, LCL isn’t necessarily less secure than FCL. If damage is the concern for you, shipments can sometimes be more tightly packed in a LCL container which helps to reduce this risk.


Worldwide Shipping Services


Whichever option you choose, a reliable Sea Freight company will do their best to ensure your shipment is transported in a safe and swift manner. To learn more about FCL vs. LCL, contact us at KMB Shipping Group today – a member of our team would be delighted to discuss your options with you.

If you’re looking for a trustworthy and well-established Air and Sea Freight handling company, KMB Shipping Group has over 30 years of experience plus a vast Freight network to meet your needs. Request a quote today.