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Should I Ship by LCL or FCL


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When deciding whether to ship by FCL (full container load) or LCL (less than container load), there are a few factors to consider such as costs, inventory, and shipping needs. One advantage of LCL is that it allows you to keep inventory low. If you don’t have the space or funds to accommodate a full container at your warehouse, LCL allows you to ship smaller volumes and maintain a steady flow of inventory in smaller quantities. On the other hand, FCL may be cheaper than LCL on a per unit of freight basis. This is because freight agents often prefer full container loads as it is easier to handle than multiple LCL shipments bundled together. However, the break-even point at which the price of a large LCL load equals the price of a 20’ FCL container can vary depending on the origin of the shipment and the current ocean freight market. Your Beeontrade team can help you determine whether FCL or LCL is a better option for your specific shipping needs and budget. When deciding between LCL and FCL, another factor to consider is the ease of delivery appointments. Many final destinations, including Amazon FBA centers, require a delivery appointment. With an FCL shipment, the container needs to be picked up, delivered and returned to the port within about 8 days before incurring demurrage and/or per diem fees, which may not be feasible to schedule within that timeframe. With an LCL shipment, there is more "free" time, usually about 5 days at the port and then 7 or so days at the deconsolidation warehouse, making it more likely to schedule a delivery appointment before fees begin accruing. Another factor to consider is the speed of delivery, FCL gets delivered more quickly than LCL, as it is unloaded from the vessel and delivered to the buyer upon arrival at port. LCL on the other hand requires additional steps such as consolidating different shipments, processing multiple documents per container, and then sorting goods for each customer, which increases the potential for delay. LCL also makes it easier to split shipments, as it allows you to divide your shipment among multiple Amazon FBA facilities or 3PLs, instead of sending multiple full containers. Beeontrade's LCL (Less than Container Load) service offers several benefits to customers looking for an efficient and cost-effective shipping option. One of the main benefits of the Beeontrade LCL service is the consistently low price. Beeontrade has its weekly consol box on hundreds of lanes which allows us to lock in low rates with the carriers, resulting in consistently below-market rates that are protected from market fluctuations. Another benefit of Beeontrade's LCL service is the careful screening of cargo. We are selective about the goods that are consolidated into an LCL shipment, which means that there is a significantly lower risk of inspection and delay compared to traditional LCL providers. Beeontrade's LCL service also offers labeling and palletization services. If you are selling on Amazon or distributing through a 3PL, they have specific requirements such as labeling, palletization, and delivery appointments. Beeontrade's warehouses are equipped and trained to meet Amazon FBA standards, as well as most major 3PLs in the US, so we can take care of these requirements for you once your cargo reaches the US. If you are unsure about whether LCL or FCL is the best option for your shipment, you can always talk to your dedicated account management team at Beeontrade. They will be happy to discuss the pros and cons of LCL vs FCL within the context of your particular shipment and help you make the best decision for your business.

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