FCL and LCL: How do both of them differ from each other?

There are various modes of freight shipping used for transporting goods around the world. The method of shipping is decided as per the business requirement and the size of the Cargo. While shipping the goods from the sea, you must There are various modes of freight shipping used for transporting goods around the world. The method of shipping is decided as per the business requirement and the size of the Cargo. While shipping the goods from the sea, you must have come across these two terms known as FCL and LCL. These two terms play a considerable role in the shipping industry. Whether you are an individual or an organization, you must have encountered these two terms while transporting your goods. FCL and LCL are the two factors that decide how the shippers will carry your goods? For more information about FCL and LCL, read the article below:

What is FCL?

The complete form of FCL is Full container load. It is used for those businesses that have bulk goods that can fit into a full container. The container does not contain any goods belonging to other people. The entire container is dedicated to a single owner. In this case, if a single shipper owns the container, then the container doesn’t need to be complete or entirely loaded.

What is LCL?

LCL or Less than Container load is used when the shipper does not have enough goods to be shipped into a full container. In this case, the container is loaded with goods from different shippers. The best shipping company in Dubai, like SLR shipping services LLC, arranges a container where the shipper can load their Cargo with other Cargo.

FCL Vs. LCL: Which one is better?

Both these Full container load and less than container load is used for different purposes. Both of them have their benefits and downfall. However, are some points to know which one is better for you:


The concept of both FCL and LCL is based on the requirement of size. If the shipper has goods in bulk and is equal to the size of the container, then a full container load is chosen. However, if the size of goods is not too much and can be loaded with other Cargos in a container, then Less than Container is used.

Transit time

Another primary reason to choose between one is the duration of transit. Most people generally prefer Less than container load to transport their goods from one destination to the endpoint as the transit begins as soon as the shipment is booked and loaded. However, the large container load is not moved until the freight forwarding services find the goods required to load the entire container. However, if the shipper requires the goods in a scheduled time, a Full container load is preferable.


Another significant aspect while choosing between the two is the cost of the Cargo. The actual cost of the shipment depends on the weight of the consignment. Large container load is expensive for transporting goods from one place to other as the process becomes longer and complex. While FCL is expensive, LCL is comparatively cheaper for small goods. 

Cargo Load 

Minimum 1 CBM or less is applicable for transporting goods in Less than container load with a maximum capacity of 15 CBM. On the other hand, there is no minimum or maximum Cargo size required for Full container load shipment. However, it is preferred when the Cargo size is over 15 CBM.

Safety and security 

In terms of security, the FCL is comparatively safer than LCL shipments. Since other Cargos’ involved in the container, there is a higher risk of theft and damages during the transit. Freight insurance in less than container load is also available for an extra layer of protection. The risk rate is lesser in full container load as the shipment is carried straight from the port to the delivery point on a direct route.


Tracking shipment is easier for both full container load and Less than container load. The owner of the goods can easily track their Cargo from the information given on the house bill. Find where your freight has reached and where it is stuck for a longer time. At the time of loading the shipment, the owners will be given a house bill where the consignment details are given.

Booking space

Finding booking space is comparatively more straightforward for less than container load than full container load. Compared to large volumes, it is easier to find Cargo Services for delivering less than container load shipments. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to get approval for Full container load shipments. Shipping a large volume of goods takes a lot of documentation and waiting time to get permission for shipment.

Custom clearance 

There are not any significant differences in the customer examination of both these shipments. However, the less than container loads contain higher chances of an increased time in customs clearance as the whole container will be blocked even if they capture a single Cargo. But, both of them have to go through the customs inspection for safety purposes. Also, the cost of customs clearance is paid equally by all the shippers sharing the container in a less than container load.

FCL or LCL: What should I choose?

Whether as an individual or an organization, understanding this whole FCL and LCL concept is quite overwhelming. Based on the above differences, we can clearly say that no method is superior and the best of the other. SLR shipping services LLC, the best shipping company in Dubai, will handle all your shipping needs to save you from hassle. Now, you don’t need to waste your money and efforts to find the most reliable shipment providers and all the documentation stuff. All you need to do is contact SLR services to get safe and efficient shipping services. Get your goods delivered with the most reliable and cost-effective freight forwarders in Dubai in the most convenient way possible.

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