The FCL and LCL are the two most famous aspects of container shipping. LCL stands for Less than Container Loads and FCL stands for Full Container Load. 

When you choose the Full Container Shipment or FCL shipment, your shipment will occupy the entire space of the container. This means that the goods inside the container will be yours only and you don’t need to share the space with anybody else. 

On the other hand, when you choose LCL shipment, you will be able to rent only one portion of the containers. This means that you need to share the space with other shippers who are shipping different items. In this article, we will discuss the primary differences between LCL and FCL shipping so that you can choose the perfect one as per your needs. 

Differences between FCL and LCL 

Choosing between FCL and LCL is undoubtedly a difficult task. Consider reading the differences between these two shipment methods. 

Shipment Volume

While booking container shippingthe term shipment volume is known as the capacity of the transported goods that it will consume. The shipment volume is usually measured in cubic feet or cubic meters. This is undoubtedly a deciding factor between the FCL and LCL shipments. 

If you’re planning to ship a lower volume of goods, you should consider the LCL shipments so that you can avoid paying for the entire container. You can ship merchandise under 2 cubic meters under specific circumstances. 

On the other hand, if you’re transporting a large number of goods, the FCL shipping service will prove more effective. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the size of your intermodal container when doing FCL. Depending on the total weight of your cargo, you may need to get either a 40 or 20ft shipping container.

Cargo Security 

The primary objective of every shipper is to ensure that their goods are safe and secured while they are being transferred from one location to another. However, keep in mind that you will not be provided with the same security option with all shipments. 

Some specific shipments are more sensitive to movements and changes so that the goods you’re shipping will be susceptible and exposed during the shipment process. 

The FCL shipment will be a more secured option because you will have complete rights over the container. This means that other shippers won’t be able to contact your cargo. On the other hand, as you will be sharing space with other shippers, you will suffer from risks associated with contamination or damages caused by other goods. However, some specific low-volume shipments can be safely transported with LCL shipping. 

Shipment Cost 

Shipment cost is one of the most important factors that will help you determine between FCL and LCL shipping. If you’re shipping a small number of goods and want to save money, you should go for LCL shipping. As per Entrepreneur, you need to save money in your business. However, the FCL shipping is best while shipping a large number of goods, even if you don’t want to fill the container. 

However, the shipment cost of both the LCL and FCL shipping is dependent on various factors. If you don’t know which one is most relevant, you need to discuss it with the freight forwarder and they will help you.


These are the primary differences between LCL and FCL shipping. If you have any other problems or questions, make sure you contact us and we will help you. 


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