Why Use Safeway Shipping Services? A Comparison of LCL and FCL

Why Use Safeway Shipping Services? A Comparison of LCL and FCL


It is not easy for a newbie to decide whether he/she has goods that will be shipped in less than a container or full container. Why? There are many reasons for this, but the largest reason is an absence of information from those who have gone through this decision process. You may be a business owner or an individual who orders products in large quantities that exceed the space capacity of a standard container.

Good thing you found this blog from experienced movers in Dubai! Here we want to share our experience with you in terms of how we made a decision on which is the right option for us.

Transporting goods across oceans has a lot of variables to consider. This article will compare the less-than-container load (LCL) and full container load (FCL) shipping options. Here are some factors that determine which one to choose:

Weight Restriction

If you are looking to ship cargo that does not reach the total weight of a filled container, in this case, Less-than Container Load is the option for you. However, if your cargo weighs more than what a container can hold, then your only choice is Full Container Load. The dimension and weight of the goods determines which one of these options is most suitable for meeting your needs.

Less than Container Load (LCL) shipments are usually limited to 10,000lbs, while Full Container Load (FCL) shipments can weigh up to 44,000lbs. If your shipment weighs less than 10,000lbs you will be limited to LCL shipping.

Port to Port

Next we consider the distance between the pick-up point and delivery point for your shipment. Because LCL shipments require multiple deliveries and consolidations of goods, more time is required for delivery. FCL shipments on the other hand, can be delivered in as little as 2 weeks depending on the destination and port conditions.

If you're shipping from port to port with no other stops along the way, then an FCL shipment may be the best choice. You will save time by not having to unload and reload your cargo onto different trucks at each stop. However, if your shipment requires multiple stops between ports, you may want to consider using an LCL shipment. This will allow you to unload and reload your cargo quickly without wasting time waiting for containers or trucks.

Timing of Delivery

Timing of delivery is a critical factor when shipping goods, especially if you are working under a contract that has a set deadline. Shipping by FCL guarantees you will be the only ones with goods in the container. This means hiring reliable and the best movers and packers in Sharjah for a quick unloading process at the port and fast delivery to your destination. Additionally, when shipping by FCL, you don’t need to worry about your cargo being delayed because of other freight.

In contrast, LCL shipments rely on several other customers to fill up the container. While this may seem like an issue, it shouldn’t be unless you have a set deadline for your shipment to arrive. If you are shipping large quantities of goods or heavy items, FCL is almost always the better choice as it is easier to fill up an entire container than it is to wait for other people’s freight to arrive at the port before sending off your cargo.

Freight Consolidation

Freight consolidation involves combining multiple shipments in one container to achieve economies of scale. This can be done through a third-party service or by the shipper itself. This is usually how LCL works; there are few circumstances where an individual shipment would occupy only a partial container but be sent on its own. However, freight consolidation also has its downsides; it means you'll have to wait longer before your goods are ready to ship out.

The basic idea behind freight consolidation is to help shippers save money on their international shipping cost. In this type of a system, there are options available for an individual to ship their goods with other customers’ goods and pay a smaller share of the costs. The person who owns the items being shipped is responsible for packing them and delivering them to the carrier. The owner of the goods must also ensure that proper labeling and documentation about the items being delivered is present. You also don’t need to go through all this hassle when you can simply hire Safeway International Movers.

Port congestion and delays

There are some instances where your goods may be shipped in a less than container load, but a full container load shipment will reach you faster. This is because LCL shipments are usually the last to get priority when it comes to port unloading. In some cases, you can have your goods unloaded first if you make special arrangements with the shipping company. However, FCL shipments are given priority over LCL shipments. You can also decide on the date and time of delivery.

Space Utilization

The first thing to consider is how much space you will be using out of the container. As a general rule, if the amount of space used is more than half that of a container, it is better to use an FCL. If your goods take up less than half a container, it is better to use LCL. This is because the cost per cubic meter for FCL is much cheaper than LCL.

If you have minimal cargo, then it may be cheaper to ship by air, but if you have enough cargo to fill at least half a container, then you can save money by shipping by sea. The main reason why this is so is because carriers charge extra for consolidating multiple shipments into one container.


FCL is less flexible than LCL because it requires booking entire containers. LCL begins to be more cost-efficient when your shipment reaches around 2 cubic meters, but what happens if your shipment doesn't reach that volume? You could try renting a mini container or something similar, but they usually charge high prices and have strict requirements. With LCL, you don't need to worry about this because you only pay for the space your goods occupy in the container.

Container availability

The bigger problem with FCL comes when trying to find an available container that matches your needs. If you're new to international trade, it can be difficult even finding out which ports are being serviced by the company you're using. There's also the question of how much time you'll need to get all the paperwork in order.

Shipping frequency

If you are shipping regularly, FCL is the better option. LCL is generally more expensive per cubic meter. Therefore, if you will be shipping regularly at least 20’ container sizes, FCL may be cheaper than LCL.


Another factor is storage. If you are shipping large amounts of cargo, space is going to be an issue. You want to make sure that you can store your products before sending it out via LCL or FCL shipping. Whether you store in a warehouse or store yourself at home, storage is an important thing to consider when choosing a shipping method.

Cost of Goods

If your goods are expensive, fragile or vulnerable in any way, then you should seriously consider FCL. LCL will offer less protection and security for your products because they will be combined with other shipments, increasing the risk of damage from other people’s cargo through handling and transport. FCL on the other hand offers you more control over the safety of your goods, as well as more peace of mind. If you have low value items then these factors may not be as important in making your decision as there is a higher risk/reward for using LCL.

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is a major factor to consider before choosing LCL or FCL. This is because you need to evaluate the risk of damages that could occur during the transit process, and also the risk of having your goods delayed at customs. The risk of damages and delays are higher with LCL shipping because your goods will be shipped in a container with other cargo. During transit, all the cargo inside this container can move around, which can lead to damages. Also, if any single cargo inside the container gets held up at customs, all other cargoes will be delayed too.

On the other hand, FCL gives you more control over your shipment and less risk of damage or delay. With a full container load shipping service, your goods will be packaged in a dedicated container that is not shared with any other cargo. Thus, there is no risk of collision or interference between packages within a single container. Additionally, if you choose our door-to-door services for FCL, you won’t have to worry about your goods getting held up by customs because we take care of all customs clearance procedures for you.

Safeway shipping company

Safeway Shipping is one of the best movers in Dubai who help our customers by providing the best services that are available to them, at a very competitive price. One such service is helping our customers decide whether they should use LCL or FCL shipping when they need to transport their goods overseas.


The shipping industry can be quite confusing to navigate if you've never had any experience with it before, and even if you have, there are a lot of terms to remember. Containers are one of the most important aspects of freight shipping. They're used to hold your cargo while on board a ship, and they come in a variety of sizes.

You may have two options when it comes to shipping containers - either LCL (aka less than container load) or FCL (full container load). Which is best for your shipment? We hope this guide leads you to make the right choice.

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