What is FCL in the shipping industry?

Full Container Load (FCL) is an ocean shipment type wherein the goods are transported in containers across the ocean. As the name suggests, Full Container Load is preferred when shippers have enough cargo to occupy a full sized container or wishes to send only his products. The shipper is allocated with the whole container and they can fill it up with goods according to their purpose keeping in mind the custom regulations. In FCL, the container is loaded and sealed at the factory or at the point of stuffing and unloaded when it reaches the destination warehouse or buyers required location.

When to use FCL shipping mode? 

Selecting a shipment mode depends largely on volume, size, nature of goods,security,cost, and urgency.

Volume –  Full Container Load shipment should be opted when the cargo is of a dimension to fill up the container or is of at least 33 CBM to fill a 20 STD container. It should be enough to complete the requirement of using fill a 20 or 40-foot container. 

Security –  It is a good choice for high-risk shipments that might be damaged by combining them with other cargoes. The supplier can ship time sensitive,fragile,precious,hazardous goods safely from one place to another. The container is always fully sealed throughout the transit time that lowers the risk of theft or pilferation. 

Cost – In terms of price, Full Container quote includes Ocean freight plus other few charges mentioned below which can vary on a case to case basis

  • Yard Charges, Empty Container pick-up charges,
  • Stuffing Charges
  • Transportation
  • Labour Charges
  • Local charges 
  • Pick-up charges from your warehouse
  • Terminal handling charges 
  • Ocean freight, which is the cost of the ship journey
  • Delivery charges for transporting the cargo by truck to the destination warehouse/point of consumption. 

Factors that can influence the above charges are as follows: 

  • Availability – Ocean freight charges can increase or decrease on the basis of availability of containers and space on carriers. 
  • Global Economic Conditions – Recession, Inflation, Supply and demand of cargo,containers,vessels, Crude prices
  • Holiday delays – The demand and prices increase on holidays like Chinese New Year, Golden Week (in China), Eid, Diwali, Christmas.
  • General rate increase – A GRI is introduced depending on the demand and supply globally or for traffic on certain trade routes. 
  • Peak Season Surcharge – Its a variable surcharge that shippers implement when the demand is at high. 

Benefits of FCL shipping : 

  • It not just ensures safety and security of heavy and fragile goods but also reduces risk of loss involved in their transit process. 
  • FCL stands as a cost-effective solution not just monetarily but also because it is quick. It offers a lower price per unit. 
  • The use of advanced technology in logistics has improved the tracking process and made it more easy to keep a check on goods.The shipper can trace the freight on FCL shipping mode and get the real-time update. It will help them to know the location details very well. 
  • FCL is great option when the shipper exclusively wants to send only one customer’s cargo and not mix it with other consignees, frequently decent sized shipments that are exported or imported on a regular basis. 

Things to know before you opt for FCL : 

  • Prefer advance booking to ensure best rates 
  • Ensure proper documentation which will include a range of paperwork like bill of lading, commercial invoice packing list, iec code, shipping bill, and entry bill. There is more to this which will be required by importers or exporters for customs clearance. Keep all the documents safe and secure. 
  • Weigh the goods accurately in order to know which container and type of freight you will require for transfer. 
  • Think through all the possibilities that might come up in the transit process and seal the goods accordingly.

Opt for hassle-free FCL services with Transatlantic 

Transatlantic provides all types of freight-forwarding services including Full Container Load ocean freight, with a smooth custom clearance process, market par pricing, proactive customer service whilst maintaining a high level of ethics. Click here to know more and book your shipment with us!

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