What is FCL?

Part Of The Freight Term Glossary


What is FCL (Full Container Load)?

FCL, meaning “full container load,” is a term used in ocean freight, as opposed to LCL (less than container load).

A full container load does not mean that the shipment fills an entire container, but rather FCL shipping is a shipment mode, whereby only one shipment, or part of a shipment, is included in a container.

There are several benefits to using the FCL shipping mode rather than LCL. One of these benefits is a reduced risk of damage or loss.

Another big benefit is quicker transit time. There are several reasons for this, primarily that FCL doesn’t require consolidation and deconsolidation. In some circumstances, FCL may even be the cheaper mode, for example, if the shipment volume occupies 75% of the smallest shipping container.

To help you decide if FCL mode is the right choice for your shipment, estimate your rates and calculate your transit time.

Forwarders generally expect shippers requesting a freight quote to have already determined which mode the shipment will go by.