To speak of maritime transport is to speak of containers and the transfer merchandise from one place to another. For this reason, there are two well-known terms that refer to the shipping methods of goods inside containers: FCL and LCL.
Next, we explain what these acronyms mean within the maritime area and we guide you to choose the one that best suits you as an importer or exporter.
FCL (Full Container Load)
Firstly, the FCL, or full container load, is one that has merchandise from a single shipper.
In other words, it is the shipping method where the container only carries cargo from an importer or exporter, without having to share space with other merchandise.
In this way, the cargo travels exclusively without having to have contact with that of any other shipper.
LCL (less than container load)
Secondly, this type of shared container allows, as its name indicates, to distribute several goods from different shippers in the same container.
Thus, each importer or exporter needs only one space within it to move their merchandise.
Which shipping method is best?
The answer to the previous question only resulted from the business niche and the amount of merchandise that must be transported.
For example, if it is about bulky or heavy products, the ideal would be the FCL modality.
On the other hand, if the quantity of merchandise is low and does not occupy much volume in the container, the LCL mode would be ideal. For this reason, small or medium-sized companies that manage a low volume of merchandise opt for this economic option, although it is subject to various aspects.
Finally, to define the choice between FCL and LCL, four factors must also be taken into account: volume, cost, security and quickness. All must be studied and analyzed by the importer or exporter to choose the best alternative.