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FCL refers to a full container load, where the shipment or cargo requires the full space of the container. In this case, the complete cargo of the container is owned by the shipper, and the container space is not shared by any other cargo.

The term LCL means less than container load. It refers to situations when the cargo has small volumes or dimensions that will not take up the entire space of a container. In this case, the shipper can opt for LCL, which combines their shipment with other smaller cargoes. This is also called a consolidated container, where multiple smaller cargoes are combined to be shipped together in the same container.  

Which is better – FCL (full container load) or LCL (less than container load)?

There is no answer to the question of whether FCL or LCL is better, as the choice depends on the needs of the shipper and the cargo. Companies can choose either FCL or LCL or a combination of both, based on their business needs and cargo handling requirements. Understanding HCL and LCL can bring awareness of how each shipping method works, and help shippers to decide what is best for them, in their budget.

Freight forwarding services have extensive experience in handing different types of cargo, the dependencies of time and cost, as well as regulatory compliances needed for shipping. For those shipping cargo for the first time, the best thing to do is discuss your needs with the freight forwarder, who can offer their advice and guide you with the right choices.