What is Consolidated Shipping & How Can Shippers Benefit?
Partial shipments, or shipments that don’t fill capacity, are commonplace in supply chains. Outside of using highly specialized carriers, there is another option that can provide more opportunity for bottom line savings and increased efficiency: consolidated shipping.
What is Consolidated Shipping?
Consolidated shipping is a method of shipping where a consolidator combines individual LCL shipments from various shippers into one full container shipment. Participating in consolidated shipping earns the shipper preferred rates. When the full container shipment reaches its destination, the shipments are then deconsolidated into their original LCL shipments.
LCL vs. FCL
- Less than container load (LCL, also referred to as less than truckload or LTL), as defined above, is when a shipment is too small in mass to require a full container to ship. These types of shipments are priced based on volume and are consolidated to fit into full containers. LCL shipments are commonplace in supply chains.
- The alternative is full container load (FCL), which is when a shipment does have enough mass to require an entire container to ship. This type of shipment usually has a flat rate per container. Unlike with LCL shipments, FCL shipments are loaded and sealed at the origin by the supplier or manufacturer.