Cargo Ships on the Ocean

Aug 14

What is LCL Shipping?

Less-than-container shipping is a term used to describe a shipment or load smaller than a single shipping container. There are many reasons why people prefer to use LCL shipping, but they usually employ the services of logistics companies in Edmonton to make the decision. However, deciding what choice is right for you can involve several questions, including:

  • What is the size of my shipment?
  • When do I need my delivery to arrive?
  • Should I pay for the full cost of a container?
  • Why not use air shipment instead?
  • How will the prices differ between FCL, LCL, and air shipping?

Below, we will look at each of these questions and offer answers.

Logistics Companies and LCL Shipment Questions

What is the size of my shipment?

The size of your shipment is the most relevant factor, and that is why we have it at the top of the list. Naturally, if you have a large shipment or several small shipments that must travel together, there is an excellent reason to consider FCL shipping. Conversely, if you have a small, valuable load, consider an LCL shipment. The cost will likely not exceed the full price of a container, but you may find it mixed with other shipper’s loads.

 When do I need my shipment to arrive?

Another important consideration is when you will need your shipment. Overall, transportation by water is slower than air, and you must consider this during the planning phase. Plus, depending on the departure and arrival location, there may be additional factors that delay the shipment. These delays may be from customs agents, offloading times, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Aerial view of freight ship with cargo containers

Should I pay for the full cost of a container?

The overall cost of LCL shipping is, essentially, a determination of the volume your shipment possesses. Therefore, you must consider the dimensions of your delivery before choosing LCL. This assessment differs from air travel, where the relevant factor affecting the cost is the weight. 

Why not use air shipment instead?

Indeed, air transport is faster and more efficient in many ways. However, for particularly bulky or dangerous shipments, there are many complications. This reason is why many are willing to sacrifice the time of a shipment for the lesser expense of using LCL shipping methods. For the best results, consult with logistics companies in Edmonton.

How will the prices differ between FCL, LCL, and air shipping?

The prices will differ dramatically depending on your chosen mode of transportation. Overall, air shipments will be the most expensive because of the cost of fuel and the necessary weight restrictions. After that, the next most expensive option will depend on your shipment. A small, one-time shipment might be less costly with LCL shipping. In the long term, large and repetitive loads will benefit from the bulk discount of FCL shipments. 


Ocean-Air Freight Ltd is your premier logistics and freight forwarder in Calgary. Since 1990, we have been providing individuals and companies with top-quality shipping and freight forwarding needs. We pride ourselves on our professionalism, experience, and adaptability. We offer a range of services including air, ocean and surface freight for international, cross-border and domestic needs, cargo insurance, import and export needs, documentation and much more. From Europe to North America, we can handle all your deliveries and freight requirements. For the best freight forwarder in Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon, contact our logistics company in Calgary today.