Less Than Container Load Freight (LCL) Shipping

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Tiny Package
8 x 4 x 2 IN
Up to 0.5 LB

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Thin Box
13 x 9 x 1 IN
Up to 1 LB

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Small Box
13 x 9 x 2 IN
Up to 5 LB

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Ord. Box
16 x 10 x 8 IN
Up to 9 LB

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Moving Box
28 x 16 x 16 IN
Up to 55 LB

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Full Pallet

LTL

LTL


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There are many ways to send bulky items to distant locations. Trucking and air freight are some of the more popular options. However, trucks cannot deliver overseas, and air freight can be expensive. That’s where container freight comes in - it’s a maritime shipping type that often provides the best rates. Let’s see whether LCL shipping is the right form of shipping for you.

What is LCL?

"LCL" stands for less than container load. Ocean freight works with containers - huge metal boxes stacked on cargo ships. An LCL is ocean freight shipping for those whose shipment cannot fill out a transport container. Therefore, LCL freight shipping means your goods will be grouped with other customers to fill out a container. 

In contrast to LCL, FCL freight shipping requires that your goods completely fill out a container. While similar, these two methods of shipping have slightly different applications.

LCL Freight - Postage Rates 

Freight shipping is not cheap, especially if it’s long-distance. However, whenever ocean freight is an option, it’s almost always the cheapest way to send your goods to distant places. Air freight is always an option, but the postage rates can often be huge. In addition, container freight shipping provides much higher max weight allowances for your shipments. 

The lower shipping rates provide welcome relief when dealing with international freight. International container shipping will provide much lower rates than air freight if you need to ship bulky goods overseas. Of course, it’s nowhere near as quick.

LCL Freight - Delivery Time

We must admit that sea freight is far from the fastest shipping method. Since it relies on cargo ships, delivery to some destinations can take months. If we compare that to air freight, it’s slower - some air freight options only take days. However, sea freight is much cheaper, so it’s like comparing apples to oranges. 

LCL vs. FCL Freight

As we mentioned earlier, the only difference between LCL and FCL freight is the number of goods you’re shipping. Therefore, FCL freight requires that you fill out an entire container, whereas LCL doesn’t.

FCL freight only works with larger shipments, so it comes with higher postage rates. However, if you need to deliver many goods, it can be more cost-effective. Therefore, it might be a good idea to try and combine your shipments to reach FCL conditions. On the other hand, the advantage of LCL compared to FCL shipping is that it usually doesn’t come with minimum size and weight requirements.

What’s the Best LCL Freight Carrier?

Many sea freight carriers are on the market, providing different shipping rates and delivery times. Since freight is usually not cheap, it pays to shop around. Therefore, try to get at least several offers before choosing a carrier.

An LCL shipping calculator is one of the best ways to compare prices and shipping times. A calculator will give you a precise estimate of the shipping time for your goods and what price you should expect to pay. In many cases, a shipping calculator is a great way to determine whether it would be more cost-effective to stretch out to FCL shipping.

Conclusion

LCL shipping is one of the most practical ways to deliver large shipments to distant locations. That’s especially true for overseas destinations - it provides an affordable way to send enormous items. While it’s not nearly as quick as air freight, the price difference makes up for it.

One of the main advantages of LCL shipping is that, unlike FCL, it doesn’t come with minimum size and weight requirements. You can ship pallets of any dimension, and the carrier will group them with other customers to ensure you get reasonable shipping rates. 

Like other sea freight shipping methods, LCL is much slower than air freight. However, the affordable shipping rates tend to balance the scales. In addition, sea freight methods such as LCL provide a much higher max weight allowance, which can be of utmost importance.

 
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