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What is the difference between FCL and LCL conditions in ocean freight?

In the world of international logistics we will find many terms of the industry that we must know to understand how it works. In this case, these are two widely used terms: FCL and LCL.

Do you know how they differ?

What does FCL mean in maritime transport?

FCL stands for Full Container Load, which stands for Full Container Load. It means that the vendor is responsible for filling the container and taking care of all the charges associated with its transport. In this case, the transporter agrees to take the container from point A to point B having as the only guide of its content the so-called B / L or bill of lading in which the cargo is declared. 

FCL also has lower associated costs per shipment of each unit (From 15 cubic meters in a 20-foot container) and is used when large volumes of merchandise must be shipped to lower costs and accelerate processes, since when it comes to From a single buyer, the cargo goes direct from the port to a single consignee.

When is the LCL used?

Contrary to the previous case, LCL means Less Than Container Load or Less than a Full Container. This means that several loads destined for different buyers are transported in a single container .

This condition is used by small or medium-sized companies that handle low volumes of merchandise. Here the carrier is responsible for the container and its filling. The freight will be higher per unit of shipment but by keeping the volumes low you will have more cash flow to occupy other business needs.

However, it should be taken into account that when the shipment is LCL it could be subject to delays and there is no control over the other loads that will go in the same container , which increases the risk of possible damage to your cargo during transport.

It is very important to know which is the method of freight transportation that is best for you, that it is fast, safe and optimizes costs.