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For small shipments, iContainers offers the option of an LCL service (Less than a Container Load), which is available for both export and import. By purchasing this service, you will pay for the exact volume you are sending without the obligation to hire a full container service.
LCL shipments are facilitated by a non-vessel operating common carrier (also known as an NVOCC). These NVOCC companies hire full containers from shipping companies based on traffic volume forecasts to a destination and offer the possibility to hire a specific volume and weight inside the container.
To make an LCL shipment it is mandatory that the cargo is correctly palletized before loading it into the container. To hire an LCL shipment it is very important to know width, height and length of pallets as well as knowing whether they are stackable or not. The LCL price is calculated according to volume in m3 or weight in tons (the highest of these two). There are two type of pallets: Europallets (1.2m x 0.8m) or Standard Pallets (1.2m x 1m). Maximum height is 1.9m.
Most destinations run weekly or bi-weekly services, while less common destinations service every 3 weeks or on a demand basis when there is enough cargo to warrant a shipment.
The more important the destination is the more frequency and direct services are (this means that the container is never open until it reaches destination). For secondary destinations, services make transhipments in a main port, where cargo is desconsolidated and sent to final destination.
The price of an LCL shipment depends on the destination, the volume and the weight. When volume is over 10m3 it is recommended to check the price difference between FCL and LCL. It is generally cheaper to hire an FCL shipment when volume is over 15m3.