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    What is LCL?

    Comtainer / Innovation  / What is LCL?

    What is LCL?

    The shipping industry is a fascinating place, where companies move goods from place to place on large ocean liners in containers. As container shippping has grown, the types of containers has evolved to meet market demand.

    Comtainer’s Smart Consolidation Platform – Empowers Forwarders WorldWide

    The most commonly used container is a Full Container Load (FCL). FCLs are typically leased from the shipping company by a single customer. That customer is responsible and liable for loading the container while maximizing its utilization. The more goods they can fit into the container, the less each item costs to ship. 

    FCL is the most common form of shipping today. However, it is limited, as shippers with small quantities of cargo don’t require a full container. 

    To meet the needs of those shippers, the industry developed Less Than Container Load (LCL) shipments. In an LCL container, the cargo within belongs to a variety of importers and exporters. 

    Consolidation is the activity where cargo belonging to multiple owners is collected by a consolidator, or groupage operator. The cargo is then placed into a single LCL. Consolidators are also referred to as international forwarders. 

    International forwarders may work directly with customers to fill multiple LCLs, although occasionally they are NVOCC forwarders who act as outsourcers and sell their services to other international forwarders. 

    In contrast to FCLs, the responsibility and liability for leasing, loading, and maximizing container utilization falls on the consolidator. 

    Consolidators are constantly working to maximize utilization within the LCL. As with FCLs, more efficient use of space means goods are less expensive to ship. By improving container stuffing, consolidators can send more cargo at higher profits.


    In the past, consolidators used sketching paper and pencil to calculate spacing. Today, though, many consolidators are turning to ComTainer. The company’s Smart Consolidation Platform (SCP) and free digital stuffing tool helps consolidators maximize container utilization, reduce operating costs, and manage the process in real time. Developed by industry professionals, the system understands the nature and challenges of the consolidation process. 

    Wanna learn more about ComTainer’s platform and how it can improve your life? Visit our website: https://www.comtainer.tech/

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