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, especially FCL doesn’t need require consolidation and deconsolidation. In some circumstances, FCL may even be the cheaper mode – if the shipment volume is, even for some shipments, say, that only occupy 75% of the smallest shipping container.

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