LCL (Less than Container Load) shipment
What is LCL sea freight, rail freight, and truck freight and when is it used?
LCL stands for “Less than Container Load”. This means that the 20ft Container or the 40ft container is not filled only with your goods but shared with other costumers. This leads to a significant decrease in expense, as you are paying solely for the volume and weight of your own goods, instead of paying for the whole rail, truck, or sea container.
Usually, LCL containers are shipped especially between the main routes of global trade. With Freightfinders, you cannot only ship LCL sea freight from port to port, but also rail and truck freight to the inland of e.g. Africa or Northern America. Thereby, you can profit from favourable freight shipping costs for every route and transport mode with our configurator.
Freightfinders LCL forwarder network - Your advantages:
✓ Compare forwarders and means of transports for cheap offers
✓ Receive the same prices as with the forwarding companies themselves
✓ EU promoted network of experienced freight forwarders
✓ Full Service: customs, loading, load restraint, insurance, packaging
Use our freight calculator tool to find favourable transport prices for your LCL transport:
There are various types of containers that can be used for LCL freight. A standard 20ft. or 40ft. ISO container is probably the most common choice, as with this type, almost any cargo can be shipped. Additionally, there are also high cube and open top containers, flat racks or reefers. Whatever goods you are planning on shipping – we have the right selection of containers for your shipment.
LCL Container Transport
With Freightfinders, you have various possibilities for the transport of a LCL container. Compare sea freight, rail freight and truck transport quotes for your route and get a favourable price. No matter, which means of transport you choose – you will get a professional, safe and fast transport of your cargo done by our highly experienced partners.
How does LCL export work?
Packaging of the shipment
The consignor should provide a professional packaging for the LCL cargo. The rail, truck and sea freight should, after the packaging, be able to endure the handling without suffering any damage. LCL shipments are often packed in euro pallets or wooden boxes and protective film. The chances of getting your LCL sea freight, rail freight, or truck freight from A to B is highly dependent on the quality of packaging.
Export customs clearance of LCL transports
Cargo leaving the European Community (EC) has to be declared to the Customs Administration. To do that, you will need to create the Export Accompanying Document (EAD), for which you will only need the Proforma Invoice and the packing list. Make sure to take care of this, preferably before your LCL sea freight, rail freight, or truck freight is being picked up.
Freightfinders offers you the opportunity to engage of our exclusive customs broker, who will handle these affairs easily and beforehand.
LCL freight pickup
As soon as your LCL sea freight, rail freight, or truck freight is properly packed and cleared, they will be picked up. This happens usually by lorry (up to 7,5 tons) and a hydraulic lift. Bigger cargos will be picked up by an articulated lorry (40t). Usually, the pick-up dates cannot be fixed to an exact time. This is why periods of time are used, i.e.: Date – 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Handling of your goods at the port or container terminal
After being picked up, your LCL cargo will be brought to the respective port or container terminal. In the warehouses at the port, the freight will be packed very carefully in the appropriate LCL container to avoid any damage during the shipping. Tags on your cargo will ensure that they will be handled properly and fast.
Once the LCL container is fully loaded, it will be brought to the correct seaport or container terminal. From there, it will be loaded onto the ship, train, or truck that has been booked for your LCL shipment. The container will have a number, which gives you the opportunity to trace your cargo through our own tracking device “Freightpit” on our dashboard. Furthermore, you can control your shipment from there as well.
The responsibility of the exporter for your LCL sea freight, rail freight, or truck freight is usually ending at this point, depending on whether it is a CIF or CFR transport. If, however, the consignor has agreed upon another Incoterm, the responsibility carries on.
Arrival of the container at the place of destination
After the arrival of the LCL container at the place of destination, it will be transported to a storage place. There, the cargo will be discharged from the sea container in order that the consignee can receive his/her sea freight, rail freight, or truck freight. Before the arrival of the cargo, the consignee receives an “Advance Shipping Notice” (ASN). This notification contains information, such as the amount of the goods, item number, weight and volume of the LCL cargo and the exact time of goods input. It also functions as a shipment tracking device. Moreover, the information on this ASN can be used for customs clearance.
Customs clearance of LCL cargo
Equally to the export, the import of a shipment must be declared at the local Customs Administration. It is not until then that the cargo can be picked up. Dependant on the incoterms which were agreed upon beforehand, the customs clearance has to be paid by either the consigner (Incoterm DDP) or the recipient (Incoterm DDU).
Customs clearance of LCL cargo
Equally to the export, the import of a LCL shipment must be declared at the local Customs Administration. It is not until then that the cargo can be picked up. Dependent on the incoterms which were agreed upon beforehand, the LCL charges for customs clearance have to be paid by either the consigner (Incoterm DDP) or the consignee (Incoterm DDU).
Delivery of LCL transports
After the successful customs clearance, the LCL sea freight, rail freight, or truck freight will be delivered to the consignee. Provided that the goods were properly packed, the LCL shipment should arrive without any damage.
Optional: Insurance of LCL sea freight, rail freight and truck freight transports
Usually, carriers have a limited liability. Hence, the customer assumes liability for most of the damages. This does not only apply to damages done to your LCL sea freight, rail freight, or truck freight, but also damages on the sea container, ship, train, or truck. Most people do not want to take that high of a risk, as the costs can be immense in contrast to the relatively low prices of an insurance. You can cover insurance for your LCL shipment straight from our platform to be on the safe side.
Please look for our providers with the Freightfinders sign. These are forwarders who are part of our premium network – covering everything including a best price insurance. .