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  • What are FCL containers?

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    When contracting maritime cargo transport from anywhere in the world, one of the most frequent options to transport the merchandise is to choose FCL containers.

    Why should we choose this option? Well, under certain conditions, choosing this type of cargo can save us a lot of money when sending our merchandise to or from Paraguay.

    First of all, we must remember that containers are the most used cargo storage and transportation elements in international merchandise trade.

    Since the first container ship sailed in April 1956 from New York to Houston, the shipping industry underwent a rapid transformation to massively adopt the use of these elements.

    In fact, today it would be practically unfeasible from a logistical and economic point of view to transport cargo from one place to another in the world safely and making the most of the cargo space on ships.

    Currently there are ISO standards that establish the sizes and types of containers that must be used in world transport. In the case of merchandise, the use of the full container load is very frequent due to its numerous advantages.

    What is an FCL container?

    This type of container gets its name from the English term “Full Container Load”, which translates into Spanish as “full container load“.

    When it comes to loading a container for maritime transport, the person in charge has two options, the full load or the consolidated load.

    Goods belonging to several clients are placed in a shared load container, which can go to the same destination or to nearby destinations.

    The consolidated or grouped cargo container will be opened in different ports to remove the merchandise that corresponds to deliver or pick up new cargo. You will then continue your journey until you reach the last port of delivery.

    For its part, the FCL container is loaded with the merchandise of a single client or company and is transported fully sealed to the port of delivery.

    Characteristics of FCL containers

    The configuration, handling and sealing of the FCL containers are carried out in compliance with strict international standards. These regulations determine the following particularities:

    1. An FCL container is sealed once the loading task is finished and can only be opened by its recipient at the end of its journey.
    2. The shipper must be responsible for the loading process of the FCL container and its sealing.
    3. The carrier of an FCL container is responsible for the route that will be used for its shipment to the destination requested by the client.
    4. The recipient or recipient of the FCL container is responsible for the entire process of unloading it.
    5. For their part, the exporter and the importer must respond to customs problems. The carrier will have no responsibility in this type of situation.
    6. The FCL containers are considered very safe from the legal point of view since their sealing is done based on strict international standards.
      This makes it easy to track cargo in the event of theft and detect unauthorized cargo in the containers. In addition, international law protects the sealed FCL container against intermediate customs inspections at its passing through third countries.
    7. Another particular feature of FCL containers is that they are charged a flat rate for their transport, regardless of whether it is fully filled or only partially filled before sealing.

    When should you use FCL containers?

    There are several reasons why it is convenient to choose an FCL container to send your cargo to Paraguay.

    One of the most important is that its transport is faster and easier, since it will not be opened several times during its transit.

    In addition, they require simpler customs procedures and enjoy greater legal protection. This is a great advantage in cases where the transport vessel must pass through third countries.

    However, before making a decision in favor of the use of FCL containers, four basic aspects must be analyzed, such as:

    • Volume of merchandise. The amount of cargo to be exported or imported is the most important factor when deciding whether or not to contract an FCL container.

    In general, the FCL container is cheaper to move loads that exceed 10 pallets or that have a volume greater than 14 cubic meters.

    • Segurity of the load. If you must move merchandise that is sensitive to changes in temperature or movement, an FCL container is the best option to carry it.

    In this case, the risk of contaminating the cargo through contact with products from other exporters is reduced to almost zero.

    • Freight cost. Even if it is not fully loaded, international shipping of an FCL container will be cheaper as you pay a flat rate.

    However, this is not always fulfilled. That is why it is more convenient to hire the full container load for goods that exceed 13 cubic meters.

    • If the delivery time of the merchandise is very tight or it is required to be done on a certain date, it is more convenient to use an FCL container.

    As we said before, these shipments are not subject to intermediate inspections and there is no need to wait for long closing times, as is the case with the groupage of consolidated cargo.

    Alfa Trading helps you organize your FCL container shipping

    If you need to send merchandise from Paraguay to other parts of the world or import your cargo from distant ports, you can count on the support of Alfa Trading to organize your logistics with FCL containers.

    Alfa Trading is one of the companies with the most experience in international logistics in Paraguay and we have cargo agents in the main ports of the world.

    We are ready to support you in the configuration and start-up of your import and/or export projects in Paraguay, using FCL or consolidated cargo in any modality.

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