Tips for Exporters Before Booking LCL Shipments
This post is specially designed for exporters who are curious to know more tips to look out for while booking LCL shipments with a freight forwarder.
Before we get onto telling you the best tips before booking LCL shipments, it is necessary that you thoroughly understand what is LCL shipment and how is it calculated.
What is LCL Shipment?
When the shipment is processed by the ocean, and the shipment is not large enough to fill one whole container, then the exporter needs to sign up for what is commonly called LCL. LCL stands for Less than a Container Load.
On the other hand, if your shipment is enough to fill an entire container, then you have FCL or Full Container Load.
These two terms have major differences and it is essential to know the pros and cons of each before you set out to opt for either.
Some questions you should ask yourself and your freight forwarder before signing up LCL shipment are: what are LCL shipment charges? How is LCL shipment calculated? What is LCL shipment procedure? How is LCL shipment tracked? And many more.
Get the Quote in Writing
Get the details and quote in writing. The quote shall include the inland haulage charges and the cost for freight till consignment arrives at the final port, and any other changes, if any. Also, since we are talking about LCL, the freight forwarder will quote the price based on per cubic meter (CBM basis).
LCL shipping calculator
The total weight should not be more than 1 ton. In case it does, then the shipment is calculated on a weight basis.
CBM = length * breadth * height (all in meters)
Look Out for Transit Time
With FCL, the transit time is much lesser and the reason is obvious. The freight forwarder does not have to wait for the container to get filled to get into the transit process.
However, since you are going with LCL, the freight forwarder will wait for the container to get full and only then will it can proceed to the goods in transit.
Also, with LCL, there is a good chance of a delay of a couple of days. therefore, it is suggested to look out for transit time. It is better to be in business with a freight forwarder you have worked with before so that you have a better knowledge of their working style.
Here are the things you should ask your freight forwarder:
- Container stuffing date or box closing date
- Planning vessel schedule
- Transhipment port vessel schedule
- ETA or expected time of arrival
Get to Know the Role of Services
Services make up for a major role in LCL shipment. While your local freight forwarder might fulfil his services undeterred, it is recommended to be aware of the counterparts, as well as the person at the final destination. It is important to make sure that they are all fulfilling their end of services diligently.
The services should also be extended onto the buyer at the overseas destination.
Beware of the Difference in Service Charges
One essential tip every exporter must keep in their mind before booking LCL shipments is to know about the number of charges they will have to pay. In correspondence with the first point, get it in writing.
The point here is that every freight forwarder charges different amount and you do not want to end up paying more than you had calculated for. The process you are looking for should be smooth and from a view that goes far and long term. Thus, be sure not to let the difference in service charges spoil your relation with your freight forwarder.
Reconfirm the Volume of Goods
If you are unsure of the exact volume of your LCL shipment that has been shipped, you can always get a copy of the survey report. You can get this survey report from your shipping carrier.
You can use this survey report to cross-check it with the consolidator’s invoice before paying the amount to them.
We hope the above information has been able to answer your basic questions such as what is LCL shipment and what is LCL shipping calculator.
These tips for exporters should be followed to avoid any misunderstanding or fraud. LCL can come in handy when you have a not so large load to send but a little caution can never harm the business.