LCL Shipping

What is LCL?

In sea transport, goods are transported in either Less Container Load (LCL) or Full Container Load (FCL) containers. LCL shipping means that you book a section of a shared container, enough for the volume of your goods. You book the required cubic meters for the actual or volume weight of your goods in a container. Less container load shipping is recommended when the volume of one’s cargo is less than 15 cubic meters. In cases where the load is over 15 cubic meters, FCL is recommended. EDS provides both FCL and LCL shipping for transporting goods. 

sjöfart | Express Delivery

How does LCL shipping work?

In LCL shipping, multiple shippers share a container. When the cargo volume is insufficient to fill a full container, LCL shipping is usually cheaper since the cost of shipping a full container is split between all the shippers. If you compare the cost per cubic meter between LCL transport and FCL transport, LCL freight is a bit more  expensive, but the total price compared to booking a full container by yourself is almost always lower.

FCL containter | Express Delivery

Things to consider when booking Less Container Load shipping 

If your goods require more than 15 cubic meters, we recommend booking FCL. As the goods are handled more often during an LCL shipment than with FCL shipping, the risk of transport damage and other unforeseen events also increases. The goods must also be collected in a container and then unloaded when it arrives at the destination. Therefore, investing in good packaging for your less container load shipments is very important. The lead time is usually a few days longer for LCL compared to FCL shipments.

Ensure good packaging with LCL shipping

It is common for suppliers in China and other Asian countries to use cheap packaging of poor quality. Goods that are transported all the way to Europe will spend many days at sea and may be handled roughly in transit ports. Therefore, when using LCL international shipping, it is important to ensure that:

  • the goods are stored on EU pallets
  • the goods are secured in a seaworthy manner on the pallets
  • the inner and outer cartons meet the standards for export
  • the goods and the pallets are protected with plastic.

Following these steps is an effective and cheap insurance to prevent your goods from getting damaged.

Containers | Express Delivery


FCL stands for “full container load” and refers to when you book an entire container for yourself. LCL refers to when multiple shipments from different shippers are shipped in the same container where you only pay for the space that your shipment occupies.

Container lyfts | Express Delivery

Book LCL international shipping with EDS

EDS operates in worldwide networks of partners and collaborates with the world’s leading shipping companies – ensuring your goods are protected and arrive safely, smoothly, and within the estimated time frame. We protect our independence as a freight forwarder to be able to offer flexible LCL international shipping solutions at the best available prices. We are available for support around the clock.

Dirigerar container | Express Delivery

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What are the benefits of LCL shipping?


  • you only pay for the space that your goods occupy
  • it is more environmentally friendly as all the available space in a shipping container is fully utilized
  • you can ship fewer goods more frequently to reduce overheads and warehousing space
  • LCL shipment by sea or rail is significantly less expensive than air freight
  • it is a timely and flexible way of transporting goods.




Vad är FTL transport | Express Delivery

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