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What Is the Difference Between FCL And LCL?

By October 18, 2022No Comments

If you’re thinking about shipping goods by FCL Sea Freight Services ocean freight, you’ll wonder whether LCL or FCL? Or which shipping makes the most sense?

Either choice might be ideal for you depending on a variety of variables like the size and volume of your shipment or how quickly you need it. However, there are many things to consider and comprehend before making a choice. Take a look at this guide to find out everything you need to know everything if you’re trying to decide which container shipping option to choose.

To make things simple for you, we’ll go over everything there is to know about FCL and LCL shipping. It includes how much they cost, how long they take, and the solutions it offers.

Describe LCL And FCL:

When shipping goods across the sea in containers, the two main shipping options are LCL and FCL. FCL stands for full container load, whereas LCL stands for less than container load.

FCL entails shipping your items in a full container, as their names suggest. With this choice, you pay for the entire container, leaving only the space for your belongings. Shippers who have a lot of goods, enough to fill a 20 or 40-foot container, typically choose this option.

However, a lot of people also choose FCL when their goods are close enough to fill the container that the difference is irrelevant. This typically has a tipping point of 10 cubic meters (CBM).

Comparison Of LCL And FCL

LCL and FCL are fundamentally different from one another because of the very different spacing implications they have for your shipment. The main distinction between the two is that with LCL, as opposed to FCL, you frequently share space with other people’s shipments.

Other distinctions include the following:


Whether or not your shipment completely fills the container, you still have to pay the FCL price for a full container. There is no restriction on the size of your shipment before using FCL. However, because companies charge you per CBM for your shipment, LCL may generally be more expensive. CBM essentially calculates how much room your shipment requires.

 You must pay for all the space that other shipments cannot use because of your goods if you are shipping items that take up a lot of space.


LCL works best for shipment loads of less than 10 CBM or even as little as 1 CBM. If your shipment weighs less than 200 kilograms and you are shipping less than 1 CBM, air freight might be a more cost-effective option. However, if you are shipping more than 10 CBM, the cost difference between a full container load and a less-than-container load might be negligible.


FCL Container Shipping shipments arrive a little bit earlier than LCL shipments. This is due to the fact that it will take more time to combine your goods with those of other shippers. This includes the time required at each port for the goods to be sorted, loaded, unloaded, and separated.

Before leaving the port, the shipment must wait for other items that are going in the same direction. FCL, in contrast, moves much faster because the entire shipment is sent straight to you.


LCL is less safe than FCL. Since it handles much less than goods shipped via LCL, there is a lower chance of damage, theft, or loss.


Compared to FCL, LCL is much more flexible. LCL is the best delivery option. For instance, you need to split your deliveries among several destinations or deliver to several Amazon FBA facilities or 3PLs. However, you must account for additional costs for warehousing, unloading, sorting, and trucking to the delivery address if you must do this via FCL.


It can be more difficult to obtain FCL shipments during busy times, such as the days before the Chinese holidays. Since you don’t have to wait for a full container to become available at this time, LCL might offer a better and even faster option.

Choose The Right Shipping Company

There are four criteria for choosing between LCL and FCL volume, cost, security, and time. It pays to think about whether Full Container Load Logistics is a better option if your shipment is larger than 10 CBM. However, LCL will probably be your best choice for small-volume shipments.

Your next consideration should be the cost when the volume is close enough to make things seem unclear. FCL is a great choice for shipments bigger than 10 CBM. The reason for this is that you pay a set price for a full container. Therefore, FCL might end up being less expensive than LCL since LCL costs can increase quickly the more space that your goods occupy.

FCL is a better choice if security and protection from misuse are important factors for you. EVEREAST LOGISTIC specializes in providing international logistics services, including ocean freight, air freight, and international express courier services.

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