How is my inventory load?
LCL shipping keeps your inventory lean by allowing you to ship in smaller volumes. This is due to the different ownerships of containers. While FCL shipping consists of shipments all owned by the same party, LCL shipping consists of multiple shipments packaged together, not necessarily owned by the same party. Therefore, if you want to keep a steady flow of inventory in smaller quantities, LCL is the way to go.
What is my pricing budget?
While ocean freight is cheaper than air freight in general, within ocean freight, there is a disparity in pricing between LCL shipping and FCL shipping. LCL shipping actually costs more than FCL shipping per unit of freight. The reason behind this is that freight forwarders prefer dealing with a full container load from one company rather than arranging how to bundle multiple shipments into one container.
How soon do I need my shipments delivered?
FCL shipments are generally delivered faster than LCL shipments. This is because with FCL shipping, shipments are directly unloaded from the vessel and delivered to the buyer.
Do I require a delivery appointment?
Certain final destinations may require a delivery appointment. With LCL shipping, there is generally more time that can allow you to secure your delivery appointment. With an FCL shipment, you will have to have your container picked up, delivered and returned to the port within 8 days. Otherwise, you may be charged demurrage or detention fees.