What is meant by LCL shipment in shipping and its advantages


The ever-fluctuating freight rates in the international shipping industry are capable of giving a mild headache to almost every trader. The cost of a cargo shipment depends on the prevailing rates in the market and the type of container one chooses. Deciding which container would cost less and provide safe shipment while keeping the delivery deadline in check is no less than chewing iron pellets. However, one can do this difficult part easily with the detailed understanding of containerized shipments. 

It is also important to evaluate the needs of the consignee. There are times when the client mentions the type of container the exporter must use for shipping the cargo. 

If it is not demanded, a trader has two broad choices to ship his consignments. If the consignment is large enough to occupy a 20 ft. container, then one should opt for FCL (Full Container load) wherein he needs to pay a flat rate. Alternatively, one should always opt for LCL (Less than Container Load) shipments for transporting small cargo. 

What Is LCL Shipment? 

As the name suggests, the LCL shipment is ideal for shipping a cargo that is less than the specified load of the container. These containers carry the consignments of various traders and take frequent stops at the destination ports to unload each of the consignments. However, a trader must be careful while shipping dainty or fragile products through LCL containers as it may be subject to wear and tear during the journey. The cost of shipment is calculated as per the CBM (Cubic Meter) value of the freight, type of goods, and the weight of the cargo. This is why experts prefer LCL shipment for small or light-weight cargos. 

Advantages of LCL Shipments 

There are several benefits of LCL shipments to the trader in terms of expense and convenience. Any cargo that is less than 10 MT (Metric Tonnes) od has a CBM value between 2 and 12 (cubic per meter) is considered ideal for LCL shipments. 

  • LCL shipment provides weekly sailing options so a trader does not need to wait for months to ship his cargo. Moreover, it also reduces the inventory cost in the long run as one does not need to store goods for a long period. It is easy to meet delivery deadlines using this option given the frequency of shipments. 
  • A trader can accept more orders by providing faster deliveries through LCL shipment. The cost of warehouse storage is also saved in this case as one does not have to wait to meet the required quantity for filling an FCL container. 
  • With the cargo-tracking facility, the risk of loss or theft of cargo is eliminated. This was a point of concern for the shipper earlier before the wonders of technology were discovered. Today, a trader can easily track the whereabouts of the freight without worrying about its safety. 
  • The reliance on a middle-man for delivering the cargo from the factory to the port is also removed as a trader can deliver the cargo himself if he wishes to. 
  • There are only a few companies in the shipping business that offer the facility of choice of space in the container. So the risk of wear and tear is also reduced considerably as a trader can choose the corner side if his shipment is to be delivered to the last destination of the vessel journey. 
  • LCL shipment is a cost-efficient option for small traders who are still in the expansion period of the business. 

Choosing the type of container is the second point of concern for a trader, the first must always be selecting a reliable logistics service partner. The quality of shipment and worth of money depends on the quality of services offered.