Less than Container Load (LCL) can bring forth concerns to just about any organization. Delayed shipments or a lack of visibility throughout the supply chain can take a toll on the company and can result in lost sales.
Multiple moving parts can make these shipments overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be. We move over one million CBMs each year on Expeditors’ Ocean Bills of Lading, and we are ranked #4 globally. This is a testament to our industry experience and to the trust many customers have placed in our services for years.
Here are the five biggest Less than Container Load shipment concerns and how we mitigate them:
- Time commitment: LCL networks with origin or destination agents, multiple hubs, and inconsistent routings can be difficult and time-consuming to navigate. At Expeditors, LCL moves with our Global Network, with Expeditors people at both ends of the transaction.
- Inconsistency: Changes in schedules, variations in service levels, and shifts in strategy often bear a toll on our customers. Delayed shipments and service disruptions lead to lost sales. That is why our primary goal is making sure freight gets to the right place at the right time at the right price. In our pursuit of continuous improvement, we have integrated consistency into our overall strategy with the aim to deliver the same quality product, on all trade lanes, at all times. Our dedicated teams at origin and destination are pro-active in getting and keeping the freight moving. Service providers are selected on their ability to get and keep the cargo moving.
- Uncertainty: We understand that quoted transit times can’t be trusted and it is hard to see where your shipment is during transit. We have 250 weekly scheduled sailings that are not held up for further consolidation. All shipments will move as scheduled on over 20,000 individual lanes that are coupled with consistent routing throughout our network and visibility throughout the entire process.
- Complexity: LCL is complex by nature due to too many touch points and charges. As well as too many service providers: Forwarder, consolidator, CFS, Steamship Line, de-consolidator, destination agent, broker, delivery agent. We make it simple by minimizing cargo touch points, offering simplified pricing, and acting as a single global provider of door-to-door LCL services.
- Security and compliance: Are the warehouses secure? Is the carrier C-TPAT approved? Who is touching my cargo? These are all valid concerns. We select our carrier partners to entrust with our LCL containers based on their service, reliability, and viability. We physically inspect every container freight station to make sure they adhere to our committed Security and Compliance standards. We go there before your cargo goes there. Our compliance programs have repeatedly asserted our leadership in preempting changes in market conditions and taking the right steps to minimize the impact on our customers. Among the many programs we employ are service provider qualification, service provider health tracking, and security standards.
We work with our customers to ensure that this process is as easy as possible. Expeditors has established global and local partnerships with strategic service providers that offer land, ocean, and warehousing services. Like all other products, Expeditors LCL Services closely controls all facets of our partners’ work through service provider agreements, annual risk reviews, and periodic service evaluations.