LCL is much cheaper than air freight in almost all trade lanes, and especially for high-volume cargo.
The downside is that the transit time is usually much longer. You can overcome this challenge with forward planning. For example, many of our manufacturing customers extend their production schedules to allow finished goods to be delivered with longer transit times. This way they benefit from the significant cost savings of LCL over air freight.
Usually, but not always, LCL will be cheaper than FCL.
How can you find out? Once again, it’s all about weight and measurement or volume (W/M).
The answer is that LCL is very likely to cost you less than FCL if:
- Your cargo volume is less than 20 CBM
- Your goods are moving on a common trade lane with direct LCL services
- It’s general or DG cargo with proper stuffing conditions and it complies with International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations