Abbreviation: "Full Container Load" and "Less than Container Load"
An FCL/LCL contract is a mode of shipment by ocean freight, also called “pier/house”. The charger takes the packages in a container and delivers a cargo which is destined for several different recipients. On arrival to the port destination, the packages are separated. They are then put at the disposal of the different recipients or delivered to them.
The / contract uses two types of containerization:
Other than /, there are other modes of :
The choice of mode is very important in financial respects, since the expediter must always aim to minimize the cost of transport. For example, the choice of grouped () allows cost savings if the goods do not fill a container (less than 15 cubic meters). The mode also allows savings on by shipping smaller volumes more frequently.
However, the security factor must also be considered. With grouped , loading/unloading operations (breaking bulk) are higher in number, which could generate damage, loss or theft of goods. Clients in need of secure transport prefer to use single containers (). This mode of transport excludes breaking bulk, the container is sealed after initial loading and will not be opened until arrival at destination.
The containers used in loading meet ISO standards specifications with dimensions – width 8 feet and length 20, 30 or 40 feet.
The client is invoiced per cubic meter or per ton, according to the ship. The mode is generally cheaper than the mode. provides less handling operations for transporters. According to this mode, delivery is also faster since there is no grouping or separation of goods to carry out, which could lead to delays. The price of the mode changes quickly, especially in function of available space on ships.
The client can call on the services of a for of his goods. The is responsible for finding the most efficient transport solution. He chooses the different modes of transport, executes consolidation (grouping and separating), transshipping and manages all formalities.
A French manufacturer wishes to ship goods to China, where the products will be sold in several supermarkets. He chooses the / mode.
The packages are delivered by truck to the different supermarkets.