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How LCL (Less than Container Load) shipping works?

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How LCL (Less than Container Load) shipping works?

What is LCL shipping?

LCL (Less Than Container Load) shipping is when you ship goods via e.g. sea freight and they’re loaded into a shared container with other people’s goods for transit.

LCL (Less Than Container Load) shipping can be an easy and cheaper alternative to FCL (Full Container Load) shipping. The essential difference is that instead of filling an entire container with your goods, you’re sharing a container with other importers. This mode of transport means that you don’t have to buy stock to fill an entire container load – and instead of paying for an entire container, you only pay for the space inside of one that you actually use. This is particularly helpful for smaller businesses, or first time importers who are just testing the waters.

When to ship LCL?

If you’re shipping a small number of goods, or products that don’t take up much space (low volume), chances are you’ll want LCL. A lot of startups won’t be buying enough stock to fill an entire container – especially if you’re shipping low-volume items such as phone cases.

Once you reach a certain volume (even if it isn’t enough to completely fill a container), it becomes more cost effective to ship via FCL. This is because FCL is charged as a flat rate, while more expensive than LCL, it is more cost effective per cbm of space within the container.

If you’re unsure about whether you’re going to need an FCL or LCL shipment, don’t worry about it too much – regardless of which one you’re going for, you’ll need a freight forwarder and when they’re helping to quote your shipment, they’ll tell you whether your goods should be LCL or FCL.

How the entire process of LCL shipping works?

  1. Your local overseas agent will contact your supplier.
  2. They will decide, based on the readiness of the goods, which container ship they will catch.
  3. The goods will be collected or delivered to a warehouse near/at the port of origin.
  4. The warehouse will load them into a shared container with the cargo from other customers.
  5. The container will be sealed and taken to the port.
  6. It’s loaded onto the container ship which brings it to the UK.
  7. In Europe the container is taken off the ship and moved to a local warehouse.
  8. At the warehouse your goods will be unpacked from the container
  9. You will declare them to the customs (using the commercial invoice for the goods, your EORI number and the commodity code(s) for your goods.
  10. Your freight agent will arrange delivery the goods once cleared and released.
  11. Delivery arrives to FBA Prep Poland warehouse.
  12. We unload your goods from the truck, store them and prep for FBA.

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