Definition – Less than Container Load. A term used to describe the transportation of small ocean freight shipments not requiring the full capacity of an ocean container – Usually less than 20 CBM (cubic meters). A freight forwarder may create a “Consolidation” by putting together multiple LCL shipments.

Example – Shippers often use LCL service as an economical alternative to air freight for smaller, less time-sensitive shipments.

Related Terms – LTL – Less Than a Truckload – refers to local, regional and transcontinental trucking services.


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