Freight shipping is a large industry with a variety of shipping methods to choose from. While less than container load (LCL) shipping may be the shipping option a company goes with, it’s important to understand the differences between less than truckload (LTL) shipping and LCL.

Many people choose a shipping method that is less than ideal for their needs due to an unfamiliarity with the benefits LCL shipping or LTL shipping can provide. 

Less Than Container Load Shipping (LCL)

Less than container load shipping, also known as LCL, is a shipping method useful for companies who are not shipping enough products to fill an entire container. In this process, the container will be filled with goods for other clients.

LCL shipments only take place via the ocean. Dedola FCL and LCL shipments are customizable with a range of sailing schedules and transit times. 

Shipping Limitations

LCL shipping is a bit limited in what it can take on, as all of the goods being shipped may have different needs. If the product you are shipping is sensitive in any way or has any special requirements, LCL shipping might not be as accessible.

Opening and Closing the Load

Additionally, because multiple clients’ goods are being shipped within one container during LCL shipping, it’s important to know that the load will be opened and closed multiple times. This is to load and unload the variety of goods being shipped.

Less Than Truckload Shipping (LTL)

Less than truckload shipping, also known as LTL, is quite similar to LCL shipping, except that it takes place via roads rather than water.

LTL Can Solve Inventory Issues

When companies are struggling with a shortage of inventory for their long-distance consumers, LTL shipping can be utilized. This shipping method can be used to avoid the risk of prospective sales loss.

By using this shipment method, you can receive the benefit of consistent availability of inventory.

Shipping Costs

It is typically cheaper to ship using LTL shipping, making it an ideal choice for products that do not require special attention or a faster delivery speed.

Some shipping prices for less than truckload shipping may be slightly higher and delivery time may be a bit longer, however.

If you do require a faster delivery speed, you may consider full truckload shipping — assuming you have a full truckload worth of goods. This will allow your goods to be transported faster with less risk of damage or theft.

Economically and Environmentally Beneficial

LTL shipping can provide cost benefits for businesses to enjoy. As production becomes more efficient, expenses can be distributed across a more significant amount of commodities. 

This, in turn, allows companies to trade higher shipping costs for more efficient inventory availability.

LTL is also environmentally friendly, with fewer emissions due to sharing space.


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