Shipping Knowledge Guideline in AIR | SEA | Rail Freight [2022]

Shipping knowledge is essential in any shipping process, whether it’s air freight or sea freight, but how do you know if you’re really prepared to ship? There are several things you should know about air, sea and Railway freight shipping : hereunder are some useful shipping knowledge guideline

What is Full Container Load (FCL)?

Full container load (FCL) is the term used when one shipper, who will be responsible for packing, counting, loading and sealing the goods into a container, ships a consignment of goods to one consignee. The unloading of the goods from the container is normally handled by the consignee.

FCL is generally used when the volume of cargo being shipped is over 20 cubic meters (20m³) and may be subject to minimum volume requirements by the carrier and/or location constraints. As a general rule, the larger the volume, the better it is for the customer.

What is Less than container load (LCL)?

Less than Container Load (LCL) is used to describe a shipment of cargo that occupy only a portion of the entire container and are shipped alongside other merchandise from different shippers in the same container. Container shipping is the most cost-effective and common method for transporting goods across long distances. This type of shipping is known as LCL shipping, and it comes with various advantages over traditional container shipping.

How to determine which conditions belong to LCL?

  1. Cargo consolidation is used to reduce shipping costs and inventory flexibility in your business.
    1. The first type of cargo consolidation is when one exporter corresponds to multiple importers—this is known as less-than-container load (LCL) shipping.
    2. The second type of cargo consolidation is when multiple exporters ship to one importer—this is called cargo multiple consolidation (CMC).
  2. Cargo Multiple Consolidation Multiple exporters shipping to one importer 
    Cargo Multiple Consolidation (CMC) is when multiple exporters ship to one importer.
    With CMC, multiple shippers consolidate their cargo into one shipping container. This allows shippers to pay bulk rates, since they’re shipping all their cargo as a group instead of sending a lot of smaller shipments separately. Multiple Consolidation, in some cases, exporters may not want to handle the details of consolidating their own shipments. Instead, they may want a consolidator to handle the paperwork and logistics of consolidating cargoes for multiple exporters and then deliver those shipments to one importer. This type is called multiple consolidation and it’s also known as multi-consolidation.
  3. Less than container load – Multiple exporters correspond to multiple importers 
    Less-than-container load, or LCL, is a shipment that does not require the use of an entire shipping container. This means that the freight forwarder will be managing more than one exporter and also more than one importer. The goods will be loaded into a 20-foot FCL or 40-foot FCL shipping container, and then they’ll be sorted out and loaded into the same container regardless of whether they are destined for the same destination or not.
    If you are looking to ship goods internationally on a smaller scale, you may want to consider LCL shipping. It can be a great solution for individual products that do not need to be shipped in bulk, and it can help save you money on shipping costs as well.

How LCL freight rates are calculated?

In the shipping industry, LCL transport is charged in volume, measured in cubic meters. While this might sound complicated, it’s actually quite simple. You’d only be charged for 20 cubic meters of space. LCL shipments are excellent for smaller orders and can be a cost-saving option since you’re only paying for the amount of space used by your cargo. LCL is ideal for shippers who have a volume between 0-15 cubic meters.

Containers are typically shipped as full loads. However, they’re also available in partial loads. Smaller-sized containers are known as “Less than Container Loads” or LCLs.

When determining if your shipment will be cheaper with an LCL shipment or with a full container load (FCL), you have to take into account how much space your cargo will take up in the container. FCL may end up being cheaper if you are shipping a large amount of goods that fill up most of the available space in the container. If you have small items or only need to transport a limited number of goods, an LCL could save you money overall.

Why will choose LCL?

Less than container load know as LCL is the best option and make prefect sense, when you don’t have enough merchandise to fill up a full container load. If you are a small and medium-sized business with insufficient goods to fill a full container, Less than container load (LCL) transport is the best solution.

When there are only a few pallets to ship, company have to get competitive shipping rates by using Less than container load. LCL will be a good option for you. 

Nowadays customers prefer to ship fast and in small order, FCL might not be the best option fit in your business modal, therefore the demand trend for FCL is gradually decreasing and the demand for LCL has raised.

Why will choose FCL ?

When the quantity you ship suffices to fill the space of a container FCL (Full Container Load) is the best and most cost effective solution. In FCL, the goods are kept in the same container occupied by the same shipper. FCL is usually faster and safer against damage and pilferage of goods than LCL due to less processing.

What is TEU / FEU in container ship?

Before containerization, goods were transported in wooden crates, metal boxes, and any other available means of transportation. Although this method was efficient for a long time, it became increasingly difficult to manage the sheer amount of goods that needed to be transported around the globe.

The containerization system was first used in 1956 by Malcom McLean and his company Pan-Atlantic Steamship Company. Containerization is a system of intermodal freight transport using standardized cargo containers. This made it easier to move goods between different modes of transportation (such as ship, train, or truck) without intermediate reloading.

This standardization allowed the use of one type of container regardless of its contents or its country of origin, reducing costs and transfer time through economies of scale for transportation and warehousing. A single-sized standard container has a capacity between 20 and 40 feet and it can be easily coupled with other containers through the use of slip rings (for automatic coupling) or twist locks (for manual coupling).

To make a common platform and standardization to all containers possible, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) established the following:

Containers with length that measure 40-feet were referred to as FEUs (Forty-foot Equivalent Unit) or more commonly, as Two-TEUs. In short, 1 FEU = 2 TEU’s

Containers with length that measure 20-feet were referred to as TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit)

What is container number Structure

  • Each container equipment has unique container identifier or number no matter by shipping line or railway container.
  • Container number is made of 4-letter prefix with 7 digital number
Container Number Structure
  • The 4-letter prefix is made of 3-letter owner identifier and 1-letter equipment type identifier.
  • The 7 digits include a 6-digit serial number, followed by the check-digit.
    The check digit allows to verify integrity of container number and discover possible errors. This container number checker uses the check digit to detect possible errors in container numbers.

What are the container sizes and how many cbm (m3) per container?

The most common containers that you will find on global routes are the 20, 40 and 40’ high-cube. The 20 and 40 foot containers are the most popular worldwide and can be found in almost every major port city. The 40’ high cube is more popular in North America due to its ability to fit inside a standard inter-state trailer (trailers that run on highways). Many shipping companies will also offer a variety of additional transport options such as: lift gantry cranes for loading/unloading at ports, rail cars for moving cargo from port to inland locations, and trucks for final delivery to customers

  • 20′ foot container : Can accommodate cargo volume 28-30 CBM
  • 40′ foot container : Can accommodate cargo volume 58-60 CBM
  • 40‘ High-Cube foot container : Can accommodate cargo volume 60-68 CBM
    Other than the above there are many other types of containers:
  • 45’ container & 53’ container that are mainly used in North America to fit the capacity of inter-state trailers running on highways.
    While the most common container types can be found throughout the world, there are also a number of other options that are either region-specific or have specific demands. For example, in North America, inter-state trailers are often filled to capacity and require a 45 or 53 foot high-cube shipping container. These containers may not be used elsewhere in the world.
  • Open-Top Container
    Open-top containers are bulkier and heavier than standard shipping containers. This makes them suitable for transporting large or heavy items, such as machinery or furniture. They are also called open-deck, open-top, flat rack, and pallet rack containers. Open-top containers are used in situations where the cargo is not over-height.
    The most common open-top container has an internal length of 6–9 m (20–30 ft). However, they come in a wide range of sizes that can be customized to fit the requirements of customers. Open-top containers usually have a maximum weight capacity of 20 t (44,000 lb) and a maximum payload capacity of up to 4 t (8,800 lb).
    Open-top containers are widely used for transporting large equipment such as cranes and diggers for construction sites. Their low sides allow easy loading and unloading of bulky goods. Open-top container also have a sliding door at the rear which allows easy access to large equipment inside.
  • Flat-Rack Container – The name tells how it is like. 
    The Flat-Rack container is a transportable rack. It can be used to put valuable machinery inside of it, such as an armoured tank or a bus. The container is shaped like the bottom of a matchbox which is flat and has a rectangular shape. The container can be opened by the user by simply lifting the hinged lid that covers it. The interior of the container is divided by vertical partitions that divides the space into compartments. The purpose of the container is to store/transport large pieces of machinery and equipment in flat spaces. The container can withstand any load since it is made out of steel and could be used in any terrain since it has wheels present at its front. The targeted consumer for this product are people who have vehicles that might have large pieces of machinery or equipment that need to be transported from one place to another without being exposed to any damage. An example would be the transportation company that transports buses using flat racks or even moving companies when they move out furniture from one house to another.
  • Temperature Controlled Container – It is more commonly known as Reefer Container. 
    Temperature-controlled transport is essential for some types of cargo. This is especially true for perishable goods such as fresh fruit, dairy products, meat, and poultry; marine products such as fish and shellfish; pharmaceuticals; temperature-sensitive cargoes like chemicals, photographic film, or high-valued table wines. In some cases, it can be more economical to ship these products via container rather than by air.

    Shellfish are a great example of a product that needs to be shipped in a temperature-controlled environment. They need to be kept cool to ensure good quality. If they are allowed to warm up too much during shipping, they begin to cook inside their shells. The result can be one unhappy buyer who will never buy from you again. That’s why reefer containers are designed to keep the cargo inside cool enough so that this doesn’t happen.

    The reefer container itself is made of insulated panels that do not conduct heat easily—otherwise the box would cool down too quickly once it was opened at its destination. A refrigerating system is built into the container that maintains a constant temperature inside the container while it is being transported by road freight or rail freight.

    When the container arrives at its destination, it may be unloaded onto a truck or trailer
  • ISO Tank Container – The ISO Tank Container is a rectangular structure that comes in standardized dimensions. It is called ISO tank because it follows the standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
    ISO Tank is typically used to hold liquid goods. It may be used to carry fruit juice or pulps, bulk wine, or another liquid product. Each ISO Tank must adhere to strict compliance in order for it to be used for edible goods. For example: fruit juices and pulps are measured by their Brix Value. This value can range from 8-25%. If you were to use a non-compliant ISO tank, then your goods could potentially be contaminated by bacteria and other organisms due to exposure of higher levels of sugar in the liquid.
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