Logistic services

Why should you import with Less Container Loads (LCL)?

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In maritime transport, the use of containers is very common, as they are a very convenient instrument for importing or exporting goods from anywhere in the world. Generally, these containers are made of steel, aluminum, polymer fiber, or other high-strength materials.

For imports, there are two types of loads, LCL loads, which corresponds to the acronym for less than container load (less than a container load) and FCL loads, which correspond to the acronym for full container load. .

In this article, we will mainly focus on explaining what LCL cargoes consist of, that is, what it means for the container to be shared with cargoes from other suppliers, why it is convenient for you to import with this type of transport, how it works and what you need to import merchandise in LCL cargoes.

What are LCL cargoes?

As its name indicates, LCL cargoes imply that the merchandise occupies less space than that of a full container, which means that the container will be shared and different merchandise from various suppliers will be in it. LCL cargoes are also known by the name of maritime groupage, because the goods are grouped and loaded inside a container with other fractional cargoes.

How do Less Container Loads (LCL) work?

They work in a very similar way to modern messaging services, that is:

  • The goods arrive at a warehouse, are loaded on the corresponding transport with a common destination and an efficient route, and the same trip is used as much as possible. LCL cargoes are generally shipped on a regular basis, it can be weekly or fortnightly, depending on the port of destination, so the timing of this type of cargo is crucial. To ensure that everything arrives in perfect condition.
  • Consolidation of LCL cargo takes place in the warehouse, called the consolidated warehouse. The most common is that the supplier manages the delivery of the cargo and is in charge of transporting it to the warehouse.
  • It must be taken into account that the merchandise arrives at the warehouse with sufficient time in advance. If the warehouse is close to the port of departure, the deadline for delivering the cargo to the warehouse is usually seven days before the ship’s departure. But this varies depending on the location of the store. When the warehouses are inland, the containers take longer to reach the port of departure, so the delivery deadline will be earlier.
  • For this reason, properly planning your import in advance is essential so that your merchandise arrives on time, regardless of the port of departure. This time in advance allows for proper consolidation of all LCL cargoes in the container.
  • Once the container has been consolidated and prepared, it is transported to the port of departure. The deadline for the containers to arrive at the port is approximately three days before the departure of the ship. Once the cargo has arrived at the port, it is transferred to the shipping company and then shipped to the port of destination.
  • If the destination of the cargo is a secondary port, the merchandise could be unloaded at a port of call. In this place they could be transported to another container or wait until more goods complete the loading in the container before continuing the journey to their final destination.
  • Once the container arrives at the port of destination, the freight forwarder will handle customs clearance, pick up the container and transport it from the port to a warehouse called a deconsolidation warehouse. Once there, the container is deconsolidated and the loads are separated.
  • Finally, the reception of merchandise, at this point you can go to pick up your merchandise at the warehouse or if you have a freight forwarder, they can deliver the merchandise directly to where you indicate.

What do you need to import merchandise in LCL cargoes?

To import your merchandise from anywhere in the world, you must have the support of a logistics company or freight forwarder with consolidated cargo service, because it is not only about having the already complicated import procedures in order, but also , you must ensure that your merchandise is properly consolidated and is not damaged or delayed.

How to know if this transport suits you

If you are an entrepreneur or a small company, there are some situations where it will be more convenient for you than others, or perhaps the conditions are right, but especially if you need to import merchandise in a smaller volume. In addition, they can be packages that are too large to be moved by a traditional parcel service, but they definitely do not fill a container.

In other words, it suits you when the merchandise you are going to import does not need the entire container to be shipped, since it does not require as much space. So, the easiest solution in this case would be for a third party with a consolidated cargo service to be in charge of making the most of the available space with merchandise from several suppliers.

The consolidated container allows you to receive the amount of merchandise you need and is one of the cheapest options. With this solution you will pay only the percentage of the container that your merchandise occupies.

Solutions for importing LCL cargo with Alfa Trading S.A.

We are cargo agents dedicated to advising companies and entrepreneurs, to import goods from anywhere in the world to Paraguay, coordinating the entire import logistics process and offering comprehensive solutions. We have:

  • Own office in Montevideo, Uruguay for exclusively consolidated cargo.
  • Trained staff to assist with all your logistics needs in Montevideo.
  • Customs clearance in Uruguay for your merchandise.
  • Availability of own truck for consolidation and direct service from Montevideo to Paraguay.
  • Coverage of LCL Goods with Certificate of Insurance against all risks.
  • Customs clearance in Paraguay for your merchandise.
  • National freight service until the final deposit.

Get in contact with us.