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Logistics and Shipping Terms: FCL and LCL


FCL and LCL are terms commonly used in the shipping and logistics industry. There are different container packaging methods for transporting by sea. In international trading, you can hear the word of LCL shipment and FCL shipment or consignment. It means all the container shipments are divided into two main category as a loading method for the container. As LCL or FCL shipment. In simple words, we can say shipment is a full container or less than a container.

What is FCL?

FCL Shipment

stands for “Full container Load”

Also known as “consolidated shipping”

As the name reflects FCL shipment is a consignment that occupies the whole space of the standard container. whole of the container cargo is owned by one shipper.

FCL shipments are used when transporting a large amount of goods or when the shipper is required not to mix cargo with another shipper’s cargo.

Freight charges are based on the number of containers or the weight of products.

FCL and LCL can be derived as two methods of space utilization of containers for transporting goods.

FCL shipments are mostly used in sea transportation. Containerization is a packaging that can use multimodal transportation, such as sea, land, rail, and inland waterways.

FCL shipments are mainly used in sea transportation. but air transportation FCL shipments are less. Due to higher weight and unaffordable cost.

In the shipping shipper book FCL shipment for at least one container.

What is “LCL?

FCL shipment

LCL stands for Less than Container Load

If your consignment does not fill the whole space of a standard container. It’s called “LCL shipment”.

In one container, there are many small packages loading from different shippers. This is a cost-effective method for small consignment transporting shippers.

Freight charges apply according to volume, weight, or space used in the container.

In the shipping shipper book LCL shipment for space required lower than full container.

Freight forwarders consolidate the different shippers’ consignments for one container.

Difference between FCL and LCL in shipping?

stands forFull ContainerLess than Container Load
Space utilizationless than a full containerless than a full container
cargo handlingcargo owned by one consigneewithin a container cargo handling more than one consignee
a large amount of shipmenta large amount of shipmentspace utilization of the container
a large amount of shipmentlarge amount of shipmentFull Container Load
Most suitable productsbulky and heavy productsless than a full container
Transit TimeTransit time is lower than FCL shipmentnumber of containers

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