Full Container Load
FCL is the abbreviation for “Full Container Load” used in the International Ocean Freight Industry for exporting and importing cargo to and from the USA. This term is commonly used to describe an international sea freight service that is designed for ocean freight shipments of cargo where the shipper has exclusive use of the sea freight multimodal container. As a rule, ocean freight containers are loaded and sealed by the shipper at the shipper’s home or facility. It is then transported by ocean, rail and/or truck directly to the point of final destination.
NOTICE: If you have cargo sufficient to fill a 20’ sea freight container, we still recommend that you to compare FCL ocean freight service to an LCL (Less than Container Load) option. In certain circumstances you may find that using international LCL ocean freight service for shipping goods overseas may be more convenient and cost-effective for you than FCL.
Please contact a OSI Shipping Coordinator who can help you understand your options.
Less than Container Load
LCL – an abbreviation for “Less than Container Load”. This term is commonly used to describe a sea freight service that is designed for shipping boxed, crated or palletized cargo, to or from the USA, which does not fill an entire 20 or 40 foot sea freight container. It is widely used for consolidated shipping worldwide.
There are many advantages of using LCL sea freight service vs. using FCL (full container load) sea freight services.
LCL sharply decreases shipping costs on smaller sea freight shipments
When you share a 20 or 40 foot sea freight container with one or more customers that import or export goods, you pay only for the space used in the sea freight container.
As a rule, the transit time will be the same as if you had shipped a full container.
Typically, LCL ocean freight rates are calculated by volume (per cubic meter/cubic foot), not by weight. Since vessel capacity is not really limited by weight of cargo but by the hold of the ship, in general, the weight of LCL cargo is not a pricing factor.
You CANNOT use LCL Service for the following commodities:
* Unboxed or uncrated cargo cannot be shipped as LCL.
Any motorized vehicles that require DMV registration (cars, motorcycles, mopeds, jet skis, ATV’s, snowmobiles etc) are not permitted to be moved as LCL sea freight.
You can ship motorized vehicles in containers and RO/RO (Roll-On/Roll-Off). Ocean freight cost per a motorized vehicle should be equal to the ocean freight cost of shipping a mid-size car, but must always be re-confirmed upon a booking request.
* Items that will not fit into a 40 foot container (approx.39.5’/12m in Length; 7.5’/2.36m in Width; 8’/2.26m in Height) will be considered oversized and cannot be shipped as LCL freight.
* Hazardous or over-length (longer than 3.65m / 12ft) and other special or irregular cargo are subject to surcharges and can be added to the shipment after approval and rate confirmation only.
Please contact your OSI Shipping Representative with any LCL shipping questions you may have.