Understanding LCL and FCL sea freight

In order to break down the barriers in logistics,making us to learn about LCL and FCL sea freight.

When you choose ocean shipping, you’ll likely encounter LCL and FCL freight. These are the two main options when shipping cargo across the ocean. Let’s delve into each one a little more below.

What is LCL sea freight?

LCL stands for Less than Container Load. When choosing this option, you’ll only be using a fraction of a shipping container’s capacity. The remaining space within that container will be filled by goods belonging to other people or businesses.

LCL freight is a good shipping option if you’re transporting small volumes of cargo across seas and want to consolidate the ocean freight cost by sharing the container.

What is FCL sea freight?

FCL stands for Full Container Load. As the name suggests, this option means you’ll be using, and paying for, the entire container so that only your cargo occupies the space.  

FCL freight is a good option if you know you have enough cargo to fill an entire shipping container. For instance, you might be able to fill a 20-foot shipping container but not a 40-foot one. Many businesses also opt for FCL sea freight if they can almost fill a container, making the difference in cost barely noticeable.  

Is LCL or FCL sea freight better for SMEs?

When it comes to small and medium-size enterprises, LCL sea freight is often considered the ideal option for shipping goods overseas. The flexible pricing, greater availability and flexibility around shipping to multiple locations often appeals to smaller businesses and start-ups. It’s ultimately a lower-cost option for lower-volume shipments.

However, as your business grows, or if you have large quantities of cargo shipping to certain destinations, it’s important to remember the option of FCL sea freight.

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