How does the LCL Freight work ?

In sea freight, there are two bulk containers: Less than container loading (LCL) and full container loading (FCL). As the name suggests, LCL contains a product that takes less space than a full container, meaning you need to share containers and FCL simply means you have all the containers for you.

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LCL Expedition: How It Works

Also known as “Groupage”, LCL sent together in a container. Because it’s a part of a container, it’s a bit more complicated and requires better coordination and more efficient operations to keep things running smoothly.

Book LCL

If you choose to ship LCL, you must share the size and weight of the cargo with your carrier. The plan, the current account, and the package list must also be completed. Depending on the type of shipping and destination, additional options may be required.

Prepare your products

LCL shipments are usually sent on a fixed schedule, or a weekly schedule is key. The assembly of the LCL product takes place in a warehouse, the so-called group storehouse.

Your freight carrier can organize your freight, which is the most common exercise. You can also provide your own freight in the warehouse of the group.

Docshipper Note : However, you should vote for the latter, your cargo must be well-prepared, packaged, and ready for charging.

Whichever option you choose, remember that your charge must arrive at the warehouse on time. If the deposit is in/at the port of departure, the conditions for your collective storage rate will generally be seven days before the departure date. This depends on the location. In the homes, given the time required to take the container to the port, the deadline is earlier.

Docshipper Advice : This is the best time to consolidate all LCL products in the container

Once the LCL container is packed and prepared, it will be transported to the port of departure as specified in the contract / reservation. Container periods are usually approximately three days before the departure date. Once the consolidated shipment arrives at the port, it is delivered to the shipping company and then delivered to the port of destination.

LCL Shipping


If you make a shipment on a secondary port, your LCL cargo can be delivered to a transfer point where it is transported to another container, or expect additional products to fill the container before they reach their final destination.

Docshipper Info : In simple terms, it’s like having your luggage when you’re at the airport. It must be unloaded from the plane where it landed and transferred to your next flight.

  • Arrival at the destination

Once the LCL container arrives at the destination port, the destination means transit. Lift the container and transport it to a warehouse called the deconsolidation warehouse. There, the cargo in the container is deconsolidated in individual shipments of LCL.

  • Receipt of your goods

At this point, the recipient can go to the warehouse to pick up the products. You can also ask the agents to manage the delivery to the recipient. In this case, your products are transferred to the destination deconsolidation store in the destination store from where they are delivered.

  • Delays in the delivery of LCL

In general, sending LCL will not take more time than sending FCL in terms of execution time if all goes well. It can be even faster if you have the opportunity to get a last-minute space for your load.

  • Shared containers, joint responsibility

You may have to wait for other shippers to strengthen their cargo and be ready. In addition, if paper misalignment occur, delays are very likely because customs can contain the entire container. As much as you hate someone else’s mistake, you need to make sure that you are preparing your delivery in a timely manner and that the documents have been completed correctly and correctly.

  • Secondary ports

Another delay problem may occur if you send it to lesser-known ports. Most international companies provide regular and fixed transport days. But by sending your product to secondary ports, you have to wait a few weeks before your next departure date, and then you will have to wait longer for local cargo handling equipment to transport cargo from the main ports.

  • Transmission and intermodal

If freight is transshipped and/or intermodal, delays are not uncommon. As mentioned above, when transferring, your car may need to be unloaded and transferred to another container or wait for other cargo to be loaded into the container. In the case of intermodal transport, further logistics is needed as its cargo must be transferred from the deconsolidation port to the internal terminal and beyond.

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