What is FCL-Container shipping for Import,Export and Moving Goods

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In the previous article, we talked about LCL shipping, which stands for ‘Less Than Container Load’. This mode of shipment is commonly used to refer to containers that do not occupy the maximum volume. As such, they are known as LCL shipments. If you have missed that article, we suggest that you should click  here. In this article, we will be talking about the opposite of what is LCL. This is known as ‘FCL’ or ‘Full Container Load’. This, as its name suggests, literally means that the container is fully occupied. So lets move on to learn this term popularly used in the logistics and shipping industry.

When is the Term FCL (Full container load) being used

The term FCL implies when you (or your business) have goods to send via a shipping container that is of large amount. However, one common misconception about this term is that it is being used to fill the entire container to the brim, meaning it is being occupied to its maximum volume. This is not exactly the case. Using the term FCL simply means that the business or individual making the shipment is renting out the entire container for exclusive use, so as to make the export/import shipment.

How is the cost like for an FCL shipment

The cost for an FCL shipment may either be too cheap or expensive, it really depends on the type and volume of good that you are going to ship. The general rule is that if you have at least 12 pallets worth of goods, then you should book a container to ship under FCL. If it is less than 12 pallets, you should probably go for LCL (Less than container load) instead.

The sizes of the containers for FCL shipment

Just like other types of container shipment, usually there are two different sizes of containers. They are, 20 feet as well as 40 feet. The 20 feet container has a volume of 32 CBM  (cubic meters)while the 40 feet model has a volume of 64 CBM. The mode of measurement for FCL shipments are based on cubic meters, not kilograms or tonnes. At Kargo, we have containers of 20 and 40 feet available on demand, you could see them over here.

Comparing FCL and LCL shipments

FCL and LCL (less than container load) shipments both have their own share of differences. Firstly, FCL is rented by the business or individual to ship goods that are of a large quantity (usually more than 12 pallets). As such, it requires the term FCL for shipment. However, the shipper does not need to make sure that the entire container is filled with the goods. On the other hand, for LCL shipments, the option is commonly used when the quantity is lesser than 12 pallets, which means that the entire container is not needed to make the shipment. Therefore, the shipper only has to pay for the volume its goods occupies in the container. This means that the goods in an LCL  container is shared with other LCL goods, so as to fill it up.

Do you have any comments or questions with regards to container shipments? comment below. Do share this article with your friends and family!


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