If your business ships goods using ocean freight, you no doubt understand the difference between a Full Container Load (FCL) and Less than Container Load (LCL). [Need a refresher? Watch our Understanding LCL video.]
You might even know we offer more than one LCL service level – but, do you know the best option for your desired transit time and budget?
With over one million cubic meters moved each year on Expeditors’ Ocean Bills of Lading, 300 fixed weekly schedules, and 40,000 individual lanes, we are certain you will find the LCL service that meets your needs. Let’s take a look at three different service levels:
- LCL Express Platinum: Our newest specialized service, LCL Express Platinum, offers the fastest LCL service available from Asia into the United States. LCL Express Platinum utilizes quicker vessels, offers a single day of dwell time when entering the U.S., and is cheaper than airfreight. Currently, this service transports cargo from Shanghai to Los Angeles.
LCL Express Platinum transit times from SHA – LAX:
- LCL Express: This specialized service is available from many ports in Asia, Europe, and India to most door destinations in the United States. LCL Express is faster than traditional LCL but not as fast as LCL Express Platinum. LCL Express has quicker port turn times and inland deliveries than traditional LCL, and it is significantly cheaper than airfreight. We currently have 65 published LCL Express weekly schedules that cover approximately 3,500 lanes.
- Traditional LCL: This is the standard LCL service available all over the world. We consolidate multiple LCL shipments of different weights and volumes from several shippers to fill a single shipping container. The container is then moved from point of origin to point of destination where it is de-consolidated to deliver individual shipments to their respective consignees.
With so many available options, moving parts, and touch points, LCL can bring forth concerns to just about any organization. These concerns coupled with a lack of visibility makes shipments seem overwhelming.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way!
We at Expeditors have the expertise to handle LCL shipments that can offer you peace of mind. By choosing us as your LCL partner, you can expect:
- Certainty and consistency: Our primary goal is making sure freight gets to the right place at the right time. We offer fixed weekly sailing schedules that are not delayed for further consolidation, and all shipments move with consistent routing throughout our network. Consistency is integrated into our overall strategy with the aim to deliver the same quality product on all trade lanes, at all times.
- Visibility: At Expeditors, LCL shipments utilize our network of offices and people at both ends of the transaction. This ultimately leads to higher visibility throughout the entire process since all of your shipment’s information is located in our single global platform. Should an issue arise, our dedicated teams at origin and destination are proactive in getting and keeping your freight moving.
- Simplicity: LCL is complex by nature because there are many touch points and additional service provider involvement. Often involved is a forwarder, consolidator, container freight station (CFS), steamship line, de-consolidator, destination agent, broker, delivery agent, and each of these people needs to be paid for their service. We aim to simplify this process by minimizing cargo touch points, offering simplified pricing, and acting as a single global provider of door-to-door LCL services.
- Security and compliance: There are many things to consider when choosing an LCL service provider. Are the warehouses secure? Is the carrier C-TPAT approved? Who is touching my cargo? We select carrier partners based on proven service, reliability, compliance, and security. We physically inspect every CFS to ensure they adhere to our committed security and compliance standards. To put it simply, we go there before your cargo goes there. We pride ourselves on our world-class compliance program, which ensures integrity in our processes and allows us to do the right thing, even if things do not go as planned.
For more information about which LCL service is right for your business, reach out to your local Expeditors office today.