Full Container Load (FCL)
Full container loads (FCL) mean that one customer books one or more full shipping containers. As the smallest standard marine container measures 589cm X 235cm X 239cm or 19’4 X 7’8 X 7’10 (LxWxH) and has a maximum cargo weight of 28mt or 62,000lb, you would need to consider booking only part of a container if your shipment is considerably less than 33 cubic meter and 28mt.
Less than Container Load (LCL)
Less than container load (LCL) shipping, is a service provided by freight forwarders, enabling customers to book a part of the container. The freight forwarder has multiple customers with similar needs for transportation of smaller consignments within a given trade – and he offers to consolidate those shipments into one shared container. Thereby the cost of shipping is distributed amongst the customers based on the amount of space they take up in the container.
Read full explanation of how LCL shipping works in the section about Less than container load.
For example, consider a trade where the ocean freight rate is USD 3,000 per container and the less than container load rate is USD 95 per cubic meter. A shipper with 10 cubic meter of cargo weighing 5,000 kilograms would have following options:
Pay USD 3,000 if shipping as full container load (FCL), or
Pay USD 950 if shipping as less than container load (LCL)