When you import or export via sea freight, your goods are loaded into a container and stored on a vessel for transit. LCL and FCL are the two methods of shipping your goods. The best method to use usually depends on the size and volume of product that you’re shipping; LCL is when goods are in a shared container (so you can ship small amount), whereas FCL is when your goods are in a container on their own (so you can ship larger volumes). It’s a bit like the difference between a private taxi and a bus.
What is LCL?
LCL(less than container load) is the most cost-effective method that consolidates multiple shipments into one shared container. It is meant for smaller moves and it’s quite common that someone will have only a couple of boxes to bring. Typically, people who are moving the contents of a one-bedroom flat can opt for LCL. Students who are travelling abroad just for a year or so regularly opt for LCL. This can work out as fairly economical if you’re only shipping small volumes (over 0.5cbm & 100kg) as you’re only paying for this small amount of space within a container as opposed to having to rent out the entire container.
What is FCL?
FCL (full container load) or sole-use shipment is when you pay for the use of an entire container instead of paying to use part of it. When shipping using FCL, there is a flat rate for the container and you have access to all the available space within it, if you are looking at shipping more than around 20cbm then FCL is generally the best option.
To conclude, the answer to this entirely depends on the size of your shipment and what will be most efficient for you. If your goods are less than around 20cbm we’d suggest using LCL shipping, unless your goods are fragile or you have special delivery requirements.
Here at Movguru, we can help you getting LCL and FCL both – so if you’re confused, feel free to give us a call or write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you out! If you want to ship via sea freight or air freight, we can help.