When to Utilize an LCL vs. FCL

Aug 19, 2021Blog, Cargo Consolidation

We’ve written previously about all of the benefits of using our consolidation programs. However, we commonly get asked about the right time to utilize less than container loads (LCLs) and full container loads (FCLs) to transport goods.

We weighed in on the topic while keeping the current logistics climate in mind. No time or cargo crunch is too big or too small for TOC Logistics to navigate. 

The State of Logistics

Congested ports, reduced trucking availability, and increased consumer demand has caused rampant transportation delays over the past sixteen months. Because of these factors, there’s an obvious lure to using LCLs to transport cargo when FCLs may not be as readily attainable. 

Considering recent challenges, pursuing an alternate shipping method may be a great way to save your organization money while keeping crucial timelines on track.

FCL Benefits and Risks

FCLs may seem like the obvious route for many organizations looking to simply move their cargo quickly. Still, with widespread delays and inventory issues, your organization’s timeline can’t always wait until you have enough stock for a full load. Moving away from FCLs also offers the benefit of increased sustainability. Using an LCL combines multiple shipments from various organizations into a single transport along the same route, resulting in fewer emissions than individual shipments.

LCL Benefits and Risks

LCL shipments are typically operated at a flat rate based on a max linear-foot capacity, which can be beneficial based on how much your organization needs to transport. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that due to multiple stops along the way, your freight may be unloaded multiple times before it reaches its destination. This extra handling is something to consider and may not be the most secure way to transport high-value cargo. As always, it is important to make sure your cargo is properly insured to help avoid unexpected costs, no matter the method.

LCL Consolidation Programs

At TOC Logistics, our team goes above and beyond to ensure you’re saving as much as you can while still sticking to the necessary timetable. Our consolidation programs help organizations coordinate their shipments and save money. 

We find shipments that are going to the same destinations and then help customers purchase sections of those cargo containers. In the end, this means shipments can leave port more quickly, since organizations don’t need to wait for a completely empty container. Additionally, since customers aren’t taking up the full container, they only pay for the space they use. That makes for significant cost savings.

Our consolidated LCL program also offers added peace of mind. Instead of shipping in FAK general cargo boxes, we use dedicated automotive and industrial parts containers. Our system reduces handling, prompts fewer freight touches, faster CFS turn times, and results in less damage to your cargo.

Of course, every shipment will have different considerations and may require different methods of shipping. Your organization’s TOC Logistics representative is ready and waiting to help find the right transport method for your goods. We strive to implement efficiencies that stack up to save you money and improve your bottom line. Contact your representative today to learn more.


Our capable and experienced team is standing by to assist organizations and supply chains across the globe. Click the button to get in touch with our team.

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