Freight Quotes: Understanding FCL, LCL and Sea-Air Services
When looking for freight quotes, you must understand the different shipping options available to you. Here’s a breakdown of the three most common ones:
FCL (Full Container Load) shipping is when your entire shipment fits into one container, which is the most expensive option, but it’s also the most efficient and secure way to ship your goods.
LCL (Less than Container Load) shipping is when your shipment doesn’t fill up an entire container. This is a cheaper option than FCL shipping.
Sea-Air shipping is a combination of both ocean and air transportation. Your cargo is shipped in a container to a port, then transferred to an airplane and flown to its destination. The sea air combination is the most cost-effective, efficient, and secure way to ship your international freight.
Advantages Disadvantages of Different Types of Freight Quotes
FCL, LCL, and sea-air, which one to choose? Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which you need to consider when deciding which option is best for you.
FCL shipping, or Full Container Load, is when the entire shipment is packed into one container. This is the most expensive option, but it also offers the most benefits, such as:
- Greater shipping security
- Less handling and damage
- Fewer delays
- Lower freight rates
LCL shipping, or Less than Container Load, is when the shipment is divided into several packages and put into a container with other shipments. This option is cheaper than FCL, but it also has some downsides, such as:
- Increased shipping time
- Increased chances of damage or loss
- More expenses and paperwork involved
Sea-Air: This is a combination of sea and air freight. It’s slightly more expensive than ocean LCL shipping but more efficient and reliable than both LCL and FCL shipping options.
- Decreased shipping time
- Up to 50% faster than sea freight
- Up to 40% cheaper than air freight
When selecting a freight quotation method, it’s important to consider your needs and budget. Talk to your freight forwarder to see which option is best for you.
Full Container Load: Door-to-door FCL shipping
The advantages of FCL are that your goods will be delivered door-to-door and well-protected from any external damage due to the anti-shock or anti-collision packaging of the cargo container. It also has a cost-effectiveness advantage since the cost per cubic meter will be lower than LCL shipping.
On the downside, this shipping method often requires more lead time than other options due to its reliance on larger vessels and tight delivery schedules (for port pickups). You’ll also need to consider when subdividing your shipment into multiple containers might make sense.
The good news is some freight forwarders, like China Global Freight, provide door-to-door FCL shipping services to save you time, trouble and money. Our FCL ocean freight service offers time-definite departures to and from all major ports worldwide with our last-mile delivery. Our dedicated freight team will work with you to understand your unique shipping needs. Leave a lasting positive impression on your customers by getting them their orders at the best price. Get a quote from your China Freight Forwarder today.
Less than Container Load: Door-to-door LCL shipping
LCL shipping is a flexible service suitable for anything from a single package up to a large consignment, with the advantage that you can ship your goods as soon as they are ready instead of waiting to fill a full container yourself.
Some shipping agents offer more than just port-to-port delivery; they also provide door-to-door LCL services, which means you no longer have to worry about loading, unlodading and transshipment at the port of origin or destination. All your international cargo can be sent to and collected from its intended location, giving you peace of mind knowing that it will arrive in one piece.
China Global Freight offers door to door LCL shipping – the most flexible and least expensive way to ship smaller, less time-sensitive products between major ports across the globe. We use fixed sailing schedules with guaranteed space on all major routes.
Sea-Air Multimodal Transport, Time and Cost Savings
One of the most effective and cost-efficient options for freight quotes is the combination of sea and air freight. Sea-Air shipments offer the speed of air freight with the price of sea freight, making it ideal for time-sensitive cargo that needs to arrive at its destination quickly but without breaking the bank.
How does this work, you ask? The process begins by shipping your cargo via ship, just as with full container loads (FCL) or less container loads (LCL). When it gets to port, it is transferred onto a plane and flown to its final destination. This hybrid approach usually takes about 30 days—much faster than traditional sea freight—and often costs up to 40% less than air freight alone.
Whether you need your shipment just in time or want to save a bit of money, sea air could be a great option for your next freight quote.
Chargeable Weight for Shipments – How to Calculate It Correctly?
Ocean Freight LCL Shipments
If you’re sending an LCL shipment by sea, your freight forwarder or shipping agent will calculate the weight of your cargo (the ‘weight’) and the cubic volume of the cargo (the ‘measure’). You will compare it on the basis that 1CBM = 1000kg and the greater of the two will be multiplied by the shipper’s freight rate per kg.
If you’re shipping an international cargo that weighs 200 KG, but the cubic volume (length x width x height) of the cargo is 1.44 CBM.
To make the two measurements comparable, the weight needs to be converted to a decimal of 1000kg.This conversion makes the weight of the shipment is 200/1000 = 0.200kg. Since 1.44 is greater than 0.200, therefore, the cubic volume is the figure used to calculate the freight rate. Where the freight rate is $50 x the W/M (weight or measure), the cost for this cargo would be $50 x 1.44 = $72
To make matters even more complicated, Chinese Shipping Carriers and Freight Forwarders use the formula: ( ( L x W x H ) / 1000 ) x number of packages( ( 120 x 80 x 50 ) / 1000 ) x 6 = your shipment has a volumetric weight of 2880kg.
This is valid for a LCL shipment; for a FCL shipment, a per-container charge replaces the volume-based charge.
Air Freight Shipments
Air freight also uses weight and volume to calculate its shipping rates. But nothing is simple when it comes to freight costs! If you’re shipping by air freight, a common dividing factor of 6000 will also come into play.
If you’re shipping an air cargo that weighs 0.4kg, and the cubic volume (length x width x height) is 20000 cubic centimeters.
The cubic volume of your air cargo is then divided by 6000 to get 20000/ 6000 = 3.4kg. 3.4kg is now the volume weight of your air cargo. As the volume weight is higher than the actual weight, your air shipment’s volume weight is used to calculate the freight rate. So, where the freight charge is $5 per kg, the cost of shipping this cargo is $5 x 3.4 = $17.
Keep in mind, some shipping carriers deviate from the standard dividing factor of 6000 – often using 5000 instead.
Rail Freight LCL Shipments
Similar to ocean freight, if you’re shipping your international cargo by rail freight, the shipper will use the greater of its actual weight and volumetric weight to calculate the freight cost. There are some differences, however.
With rail freight, the volume (CBM) is multiplied by a standard multiple – usually 333kgs – to create the volume weight. Cost is then calculated on a fixed rate sliding scale and will depend on which rate category the higher of the actual weight and volume weight falls within.
If you’re shipping an international rail cargo weighing 400kg, and your cargo’s cubic volume (length x width x height) is 0.769 CBM.
Multiply the cubic volume by 333kg to get 0.769 x 333kg = 256kg.
400 is higher than 256; therefore, the actual weight of the rail shipment is used to calculate the freight rate, depending on where it sits on the sliding scale of charges.
Remember, some shipping carriers apply the dividing factor of 3000 plus the number of packages. The formula: ( ( L x W x H ) / 3000 ) x number of packages. Eg: ( 120 x 80 x 50 ) / 3000 x 6 = your rail shipment has a volumetric weight of 960kg.
China Freight Forwarder for Your International Shipping
If just reading this article has given you a headache, you’re unlikely to be relishing calculating and comparing the different costing methods yourself. That’s where a China Freight Forwarder like China Global Freight can make your life much easier. Our freight experts are experts in all things shipping. They will be happy to calculate the cost of shipping your ocean cargo and air cargo by various methods so that you can make an informed decision–without a headache or a calculator! Contact our friendly freight team if you require assistance.
Chinese Shipping Company Calculate Weight In A Different Way
When looking for freight quotes from China, it’s essential to know that every shipping company calculates chargeable weight differently.
For example, a Chinese shipping company may calculate the chargeable weight of a shipment based on the total weight of the cargo, while a European shipping company may use the weight of the packaged cargo. This can make it difficult to compare quotes from different companies.
To ensure you’re getting the best possible deal, be sure to ask your China freight forwarder how each company calculates chargeable weight and what that means for your specific ocean shipment.
Shipping from China just got easier! Let the experts at China Global Freight help you navigate the process and get your goods delivered quickly and safely. Ask us any questions you have about international shipping from China today!
International Container Shipping Rates from China Global Freight
When shipping your international freight by the ocean, you can go with either a full container load (FCL) or less than container load (LCL).
Sea-air shipping is a combination of these two methods, and it’s a popular choice for businesses that need to ship large or heavy items. With sea-air shipping, your freight will be loaded on a cargo plane and flown to its destination, after which it will be loaded onto a ship and transported to its final destination.
Sea Air Intermodal Transportation is more cost-effective than Air freight, with better transit times than Ocean Freight. China Global Freight’s customers benefit from flexible routing options, global coverage via strategic Sea-Air hubs, and seamless visibility through multiple modes of transportation.
Ready to ship from Chima? Contact our China Global Freight team today to get a freight quote and learn more about your shipping options.