When you ship products overseas using ocean freighters, you’ll have the option of shipping your goods using LCL shipping or FCL shipping. LCL shipping, or less than container load, means that you can ship smaller loads by sharing container space with other shippers. FCL shipping, or full container load, means you have to fill the entire shipping container with your own goods or at least pay for the entire container space. If you were under the impression that you could only use FCL shipping, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised to discover the advantages of LCL freight shipping.

Pay for Only the Space You Use

While paying for an entire container is cheaper per unit, if you don’t have enough product to fill an entire container, you’re wasting money on space that isn’t being used. This is where LCL shipping offers you a major advantage. Rates per unit for LCL shipping are higher than for FCL shipping, but when you only need one unit, you’re saving a significant amount of money. Plus, you’re allowing others to use the space that a partially empty cargo container would waste.

Good Ship More Quickly

No one wants to waste space in a cargo container, so shippers who use the FCL shipping method have to wait until their container is completely full before they can ship it. This means that their goods are delayed until that container is full. This can be frustrating for the end user who also must wait for their products until the shipper is ready to ship. With LCL shipping, though, you can use regular shipping schedules to get your products on time, every time. There’s no waiting until you fill the container, because other shippers who are using LCL shipping will fill it for you.

Optimized Shipping

Since you can choose to ship LCL shipments any day of the week and don’t have to wait for your container to fill up, you can better meet the demands of your clients. If one client needs their goods on Thursday and another client needs them on Monday, you can accommodate both because you don’t need to fill a container before you ship. You can simply make arrangements for your shipment to be in a consolidated container to arrive in time to get the goods to your clients when they need them. It’s a more flexible model to help you accommodate changing business needs.

Ship On Demand

Everyone is trying to get a competitive advantage over other businesses these days and shipping times can really set you apart. If you can ship a product as soon as it’s ordered, customers will choose you over someone who has to wait for their container to be filled. With on-demand shipping, you’ll need a relationship with a provider that offers LCL shipping with daily departures, but as long as you have such a relationship in place, you’ll be able to provide on-demand shipping to your customers. 


Depending on your business needs, LCL shipping can really give you an advantage over your competitors. Just be sure your shipping provider moves enough product to support consolidated shipping and you’ll be able to use LCL shipping to grow your business.