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What is LCL Shipping?

LCL (Less Than Container Load) is when you ship goods via ocean freight in a shared container holding additional goods for transportation. The alternative option is to ship FCL (Full Container Load), however, in recent times, people and companies have found to be shipping less whilst still paying high FCL prices.

Why Choose LCL Shipping?

COVID-19 has disrupted markets across the globe and in some cases, companies are shipping less due to a decrease in consumer demand. Budgets may have been cut meaning purchasing enough stock to fill a container is not viable.

LCL shipping allows people to be more flexible with the stock they wish to ship, as they are only paying for the space they take up inside.

Moreover, first-time importers and small business owners can take advantage of this method without the financial commitment.

Should I choose LCL or FCL?

Confused at which method to choose? Pricing works differently for both methods, therefore it is important to understand what option is more cost effective for your needs.

LCL fees charge you for per cbm of space taken up whereas FCL charges a flat rate. Eventually, once a certain volume is reached, it becomes more cost efficient to ship FCL.

LCL Benefits

  • Flexible
  • Pay for what you have
  • Affordable prices
  • Great for small businesses and first-time importers

FCL Benefits

  • Arrives quicker
  • Less handling
  • Cheaper per cbm than LCL


This article has covered the basics of LCL and FCL shipping. If you are still unsure what method works best for you and your company, our team at ATP are more than happy to help. Contact us today on 0800 056 3418 or email Find out more about what we do and check out our About Us page!

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