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Groupage cargo transportation

What is groupage cargo?

Less than a Container Load, or LCL, is the type of shipping where your cargo doesn’t occupy a whole container. LCL shipping is grouped orders from different clients that are shipped to the same destination together and shipped as such. LCL freight shipping is also referred to as groupage.

This kind of shipping has immense effect on efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility of the transportation. Not utilizing a full container (FCL) means that shipping your goods can be far easier to schedule and ship.

LCL freight is extremely popular among shipping small businesses, and here are some benefits which are obvious:

  • First, it allows companies to place shipping orders in accordance with customers demand. With standard shipping, you would have to wait until the container fills up so that your shipping will be cost-effective. But, with LCL shipping services, your order is likely to be a part of a pre-approved shipment schedule. Therefore, it will arrive far more quickly and not have to wait in a warehouse until the container is ready.
  • Another great thing about LCL shipments is that they take up less storage space. If you were to focus on standard shipping, you would have to have the storage space for at least two containers to keep your business operational. This would also mean that your cargo would spend a large amount of time in warehouses (be it yours or the shipping company’s). With LCL, on the other hand, you can afford to have much smaller storage space. The fact that items reach customers faster means that you don’t have to store them for such long periods.
  • Easier marketing testing is another important benefit of LCL shipping that people don’t often consider. It allows you to test out a new product or try different alleys of online engagement, with no need to order a large amount of it (as it might happen with standard shipping) to promote to customers. With LCL, you need not be limited with container size. Instead, you can see what amount would be profitable to test and make your analysis. As such, LCL allows you to have cheaper testing, which will encourage you to take more risks with less potential loss.
  • It is obvious that no shipping solution is perfect, and LCL shipping also has some drawbacks:

    • It makes shipping timing longer as LCL shipments need to be loaded and unloaded from containers.
    • LCL shipments are more expensive per cubic meter than FCL – in some cases it can be twice as much.
    • There might be possible delays at the customs, if the other shipments from your container will face any problems, such as incorrectly presented commercial documentation.
    • LCL goods are can be damaged or in rare situations lost as the cargo is handled more often.

    Approximate cost range of LCL cargo

    LCL cost is usually calculated by volume in cubic meters (CBM). Thus, the more space your cargo occupies, the more you need to pay. Weight also influences the cost of the LCL shipping, but it is less significant for the overall cost, as container ships can handle huge amounts of weight.

    Price quotations from freight forwarders end up calculating the costs of the following LCL shipment stages:

    • Pickup stage – covers the cost of picking up from the place of origin.
    • Origin stage — covers the services for LCL consolidation at the CFS or loading to LCL container.
    • Main leg means the cost of the ocean transportation. It’s surprising, but this might not be the most expensive part of the shipping. Sometimes services at the CFS cost more as they require manpower.
    • Destination stage – covers the services for unloading or deconsolidation at the place of destination.
    • Delivery stage – covers the cost of trucking your goods to the destination warehouse.

    You can find out how much it costs to transport LCL instantly with the Agora Freight Calculator. It is available 24/7 and provides instant quotes for your ocean shipping. Agora Freight clever algorithms, our worldwide agency network, API integrations and a simply designed interface help us give you real-time prices.
    If you need to find out about additional sea freight services, contact us directly.

    Samples of LCL freight quotations:

    From

    Qingdao, China (CNTAO)

    To

    Berlin, Germany (door delivery)

    Cargo type

    LCL cargo

    Volume
    0,960 m 3

    Quantity

    1 pcs

    Weight

    150.0 KG

    The cost from 537 USD

    From

    Nhava Sheva, India (INNSA)

    To

    Hamburg, Germany (DEHAM)

    Cargo type

    LCL cargo

    Volume
    0,960 m 3

    Quantity

    1 pcs

    Weight

    200.0 KG

    The cost from 435 USD

    From

    Abu Dhabi, UAE (airport)

    To

    SVO - Sheremetyevo, Russia (airport)

    Cargo type

    LCL cargo

    Volume
    0,027 m 3

    Quantity

    1 pcs

    Weight

    12.0 KG

    The cost from 375 USD

    Groupage cargo transportation is a relatively fast and cost-effective way of cargo transportation.

    LCL freight means that goods of varying dimensions and weights are placed in one vehicle or container for further delivery to the final destination.

    The main advantages of groupage cargo delivery are:

    • Customers only pay for the weight and volume that the cargo occupies in the container or truck
    • Groupage delivery is not tied to a specific transport: the cargo can be moved by sea or/and rail or road
    • Optimal cost of transportation positively reduces the total cost of the merchandise

    An important requirement for this type of transport is the outer packing – it must be sufficient to protect the cargo during loading, carriage, unloading. Palletization is required in the vast majority of cases.

    The Agora Freight system shows various routes and transit times for LCL transport according to the cargo parameters and freight quotations online.

    No need to wait for responses from several forwarders to find the best deal for your LCL shipment. You can also book customs clearance and cargo insurance services online just in a few clicks.

    How it works

    01

    Enter the route, weight, and dimensions of cargo.

    02

    Choose the most suitable options for the shipment of your cargo.

    03

    Submit your booking which will be immediately assigned to one of our specialists who will manage everything from there.

    04

    Track your cargo in your personal area, automatic e-mail or sms notifications on status changes may be switched on.