LCL or “Less Than Container Load” is a great option when your freight is equal to or less than half the size of a full container. It is common among buyers who generally ship for demand driven inventory levels. When you choose to ship LCL, your freight is consolidated with that of another customer whose freight is on the same route.
A couple things you should consider when deciding if LCL is right for you is your timeline, budget and packaging of your cargo:
If you have an adjustable or flexible timeline, LCL shouldn’t cause and issue. However, if your timeline is not flexible, you may want to take into consideration that shipping LCL generally has a longer transit time due to delays. Delays in LCL freight typically derive from the loading and unloading of multiple customer freight loads, delays in finding another customer to consolidate your freight with or other goods inside the same container blocked by customs. Most forwarders are very thorough in making sure that they are not shipping goods that are likely to be blocked. So, although rare, it does happen.
Because LCL cargo is consolidated into an ocean container with other customer’s shipments, We suggest properly packing your LCL shipment to avoid damage from the extra handling of cargo. Also, if you have a flexible timeline, the LCL method shouldn’t cause and issue, however; if your timeline is not flexible, you should be aware that shipping LCL generally has a longer transit time due to additional handling and delays while waiting to consolidate your freight with other goods inside the same container. It is rare, but there is an increased risk of delay if Customs blocks entry of other cargo in the same container.