If you are a shipper, then you would have heard about LCL and FCL shipping. One of our previous articles outlines the details about LCL shipping, in this post, we will highlight all about FCL shipping and when should you choose it.
What is FCL Shipping?
FCL refers to Full Container Load. When your shipment is large enough to utilize the space of an entire container, FCL can be the right choice for you. In FCL, the entire container is booked for one shipper and its space is not shared with other shippers, like in LCL (Less than Container Load). FCL shipping is one of the most commonly used shipping methods and is also considered to be cost-effective when you have cargo in large quantities.
FCL shipping is more to the point as compared to LCL shipping. This is mainly because your logistics partner or freight forwarder does not have to consolidate your shipment with that of others before loading into the container. This also means that there will be no requirement of deconsolidation at the destination or arrival port.
The process of FCL shipping is pretty straightforward.
- If you choose door-to-door shipping, your freight forwarder / agent will drop the container to the picking point where your cargo can be loaded and sealed in the shipping container.
- This can be done in 2 ways:
- You have your agent drop the container at the pickup location and ask him to collect it in a few days – this gives you enough time to load the container, but of course, it will be expensive.
- You have your agent or carrier drop the container at the pickup location, load it in an agreed time window (mostly a few hours) and let the carrier, mostly a truck, take it away to the port of loading. While option 2 is cost-effective, it is time bound. In case you require more time than agreed, surcharges may apply.
- Once the container is loaded and sealed, by whichever option you choose, it is hauled away to the port of loading, where it will be loaded in the vessel booked by you or your freight forwarder.
- Once it reaches its port of destination/ discharge, it will be offloaded from the vessel, sent for clearance and hauled for transporting it to your final destination.
When Would FCL Shipping Be Right for You?
Large Volume of Cargo: Usually, FCL shipping is considered when you need to ship your goods in high volume to international markets. Example, if you were to pack your goods onto standard pallets, then a 20 ft container would be fine for you if you have 6 pallets or more; and a 40 ft container would be fine if you have about 12 pallets or more. If your cargo is lesser than this, opting for FCL shipping may not make sense, as you need to pay for the entire container.
Less Freight Handling, More Safety: Even if your consignment is not large enough to fill an entire container, you can choose FCL shipping – provided air freight is not a viable option for you (in terms of cost and other factors). When you want to avoid any possibility or risk of damage, loss, or contamination of your cargo FCL shipping can be considered, as it involves minimum handling of goods from one point to the other. FCL shipments remain packed or sealed from origin to destination, therefore are preferred when cargo safety is on prime importance.
Time at Hand is Less: While air freight is the fastest, obviously, there are times when it is not feasible. Many shippers opt for FCL shipping when they have lesser time at hand, even if their cargo is not large enough to fill the entire container. Though this could prove to be costlier than LCL shipping, it is way more faster and safer than it.
While there is no comparison between FCL and Air freight, it is worthy to note that if the volumes are big enough, FCL is more cost effective as compared to air freight, though they are slower than air freight.
Choose ProConnect Integrated Logistics for your FCL Shipments
ProConnect Integrated Logistics is a third-party logistics company and a freight forwarder specializing in facilitating LCL and FCL shipments all across the world. With our extensive network of agents, relationship with major shipping lines and a dedicated team, we ensure you receive best of the services and most competitive rates. In addition to this, we also provide custom clearance, warehousing and distribution and other value-added services. For more information on our service and rates, enquire with us.