cargo crates on a ship

New Trend Emerges Combining FCL and LCL Ocean Shipments

Published On: 05/1/19 8:50 PM

As international shipping evolves into the digital age, shippers and freight forwarders are using data-driven technology to cut costs and transit times. An innovation is now being tested by a digital shipping platform that takes advantage of FCL (full container load) shipments that have space left over, for LCL (less than container load) shipments.

Small shipments that do not justify the expense of a dedicated container have traditionally been handled by NVOCC’s (non-vessel operating common carriers) who run weekly consolidations. Transit times are typically several days longer for LCL than FCL because of the consolidation process for multiple shipments. Freight costs for FCL shipments can be reduced by adding 1-3 LCL shipments to the unused space in the container at reduced freight rates. This allows digital consolidators to subsidize part of the FCL shipper’s freight costs, while offering the unused space at a lower rate than normally charged by LCL consolidators. If this new trend is successful, a new mode of LCL shipping will emerge, creating pressure on NVOCC’s to adapt by becoming digitized in order to survive and compete with the digital platforms. Read more about this trend at: