Full Container Load (FCL) is when a single shipment occupies the whole container without the space being shared by shipments from any other shipper. The other alternative is Less than Container Load (LCL) shipping wherein shipments from various shippers are consolidated by an NVOCC or freight forwarder into a single container All goods in an FCL shipment are owned by a single party while LCL involves multiple shippers’ goods packed together.

Full Container Load (FCL) shipping is the transportation of a shipment using an entire shipping container. The merchandise being imported or exported has exclusive use of the container space and doesn't have to share with other importers or exporters, unlike LCL.

When you ship using FCL, you pay a flat fee for the use of the entire container as opposed to paying for the amount of space that you use. The cost per cbm (cubic metre) is cheaper than the cost per cbm on LCL. However, there are many factors like the business supply chain timelines, the type of cargo, the weight and volume of the cargo, destination where it is to be shipped, etc. that contribute towards determining whether LCL or FCL is the most appropriate option for a particular shipment. It often works well for businesses to rely on leading global logistics services providers for safe, timely and cost-effective cargo movements.

LCL costs more than FCL per unit of freight. That's because freight agents prefer a Full Container Load (FCL). This is because it is easier than bundling multiple LCL shipments – each requiring its own individual documentation, customs, and other formalities to be completed - in a full container. While LCL shipments more often than not require the services of a Container Freight Station (CFS), an FCL shipment that arrives at a port can be unloaded from the vessel and delivered to the buyer in lesser time.

A Full Container Load (FCL) is a standard (20 or 40 ft length) container, depending on the country of origin. FCL means the loading reaches its allowable maximum weight or full measurement.