Less Container Load, or more commonly known as LCL refers to a type of shipment wherein the shipper negotiates with a consolidator to book his cargo even if it doesn’t contain enough goods to accommodate a fully loaded container. The consolidator will then arrange a full container load (FCL) that comes from different shippers. Freight forwarders usually offer this kind of service by helping their clients book a full container and ensure that these goods will successfully arrive at the destination.
If you’re a business owner trying to ship your goods to reach a higher number of customers, you might want to try LCL. But first, you must be aware of several pros and cons of this specific method of transportation:
Pros of Less Container Load:
- Affordability – Perhaps the thing that makes LCL a viable choice amongst shippers nowadays is because of its affordability. You don’t have to pay for transporting a full container load as you are only charged according to the volume or the specific area occupied by your cargo inside a carrier.
- More Freedom – Availing an LCL manner of transport gives you access to an array of flexible choices especially on the way of how you wanted to receive your shipment. You are pretty much free to decide whether you wanted to go and pick the cargo yourself from the warehouse or not. There’s no need to wait for any middleman to accomplish such job.
- You can Still Enjoy the Benefits of FCL – Since the consolidator you hired arranged your cargo into an FCL, you will certainly enjoy the same benefits. In other words, you will only pay for a specific space while your cargo is being transported to the very same facilities.
- LCL can Reduce your Expenses in Inventory Management – Since it’s quite convenient to ship smaller orders through LCL, this transporting option also minimizes inventory management costs so you can focus your precious resources on more important matters.
Cons of Less Container Load:
- Consignment inspection can be troublesome at times – Since your shipment will be transported with other goods from multiple consignees, it could sometimes mean trouble. In case one of the consignee’s shipment turns out to be something illegal, expect delays or even cancellation of the shipping process.
- Shipping Delays can occur – While the transit time for LCL is similar to that of an FCL, having shipping delays with LCL is still possible. The reason for this hassle is because it usually takes around 1 to two days for the container to be thoroughly processed and loaded.
Despite the few disadvantages of transporting goods via LCL, it can never overshadow the benefits that make it a more popular option for many shippers of different business industries.
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