Full Container Load (FCL)
Full Container Load (FCL) is the standard method of shipping ocean freight for those who have a large amount of goods to ship. Often goods are shipped from the manufacturer in a full container load by train or truck, or both depending on the distance from the port of departure. And just because you have a large amount of cargo, it may not completely fill a full container load, but the cost savings may be worth it. We will help you calculate the option of Less than a Full Container Load (LCL) versus a Full Container Load (FCL). At times a Full Container Load can be more cost-effective. We also offer our clients the benefits of a Full Container Load (FCL) by consolidating multiple shipments going to the same destination in order to save you money.
Containers come in many sizes and configurations. The vast majority of commercial cargo and the system of transporting standardized, stackable steel boxes around the world has experienced tremendous growth over the past 50 years. The International Standards Organization (ISO) has established precise size and strength of containers to be used in international transport. Containers were designed to be an integral component of the intermodal system that would allow containers to be quickly moved from trains, to trucks, to ships creating a fast and efficient method of moving cargo throughout the global supply chain.
The most common containers you typically see are:
20’ long x 8’ wide x 8 ½’ high external (c. 6.1m x 2.4m x 2.6m)
40’ long x 8’ wide x 8 ½’ high external (c. 12.2m x 2.4m x 2.6m)
However as companies seek to move more goods in each shipment, particularly bulky goods, we are now seeing shippers using the Hi-Cube 40 foot, which is 9 ½’ high. Here in the USA, longer sizes are becoming much more common; 45’, 48’ and 53’, the last of which is used for many rail and truck deliveries. Other specialist types that you may encounter include Flat Rack, Open Top, and ‘heavy tested’ 20’ containers that are suitable for heavy machinery.
The maximum payload weight for a 20’ container is approx. 22 tons: and approximately 27 tons for 40’ full container loads.
As your 3rd Party Logistics Provider (3PL) we will be able to track and trace the progress of your Full Container Load consignment as it moves through the supply chain. Because virtually all of the shipments we handle are transoceanic journeys, many goods require specialized “expert packing” carried out by our in-house team to ensure the safe and secure delivery of your precious cargo. We will take care of paperwork for you as required by the type of service chosen including the Bill of Lading (BoL), advice to the receiving port, and customs clearance.
Remember, with a Full Container Load shipment, the risk and the account are held by one shipper and there is one consignee. Your container will be sealed until it reaches its final destination (unless customs decides to inspect it during one of their random inspections).
If you’re unfamiliar with the container shipping process, you can view a quick overview at the World Shipping Council. Liner shipping service is the most economical and reliable means of ocean transport today. Liner shipping is the service of transporting goods by means of high-capacity, ocean freighters that transit regular routes on fixed schedules. There are approximately 400 liner services in operation today, most providing weekly departures from all the ports that each service calls. Liner vessels, primarily in the form of containerships and roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) ships, carry about 60 percent of the goods by value moved internationally by sea every year.
Container ships carry their containers both above and below deck. Deck-stowed containers on an 11,000 TEU vessel are stacked up to eight high and nineteen across, inter-locked with fittings and secured by special lashings. Ships generally carry a mix of 20-foot and 40-foot containers. Most can also carry 45-foot and 48-foot containers on deck and some can carry 53-foot containers as well. Want to know all about shipping containers? Want to know all about shipping containers in a concise form? Or get a quick synopsis of ISO Container Information.
When transporting vehicles into containers, we utilize only the most secure and advanced lashing techniques in the industry. Our expert crew combines wood platforms, nylon straps (rated four times the weight of the vehicle), steel chains or cables to ensure the safest loading possible. We provide full container load (3 /4 / 5 vehicles inside container), or consolidated vehicle loading, where cars from different clients are combined inside one container.
Keep in mind that the original title of the vehicle is required before your vehicle(s) can be loaded and any export documentation can be processed. However, although you may include additional auto parts with the vehicle, do not attempt to put non-automotive goods in the trunk as we must list all goods on the Bill of Lading and Export Declaration for compliance and security reasons.
Shipping multiple vehicles? We’ll ensure the most cost-efficient shipping possible by loading three or four vehicles in a single 40’ container. If shipping only one or two cars, we’ll consolidate your shipment with another client’s, ensuring the most economical way of delivering your cargo to its destination.