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Sea container types

There are two main modes of transportation in sea containers – FCL and LCL.

FCL is the abbreviation for “Full Container Load” that is commonly used in international shipping industry. In respect of international shipping, this FCL term describes an ocean freight service, which is designed for international ocean freight shipments of cargo where international shipper has exclusive use of entire ocean freight multimodal container(s): 20′, 40′, 40HC etc. As a rule ocean freight containers are loaded and sealed by international shipper at the shipper’s facility. Then it will be transported by land (truck and/or rail) to the international ocean freight carrier’s container yard in country of origin for the actual international shipping by ocean to a container yard within of port of destination in destination country. After containers are recovered at the port of destination, cleared with the destination customs and all other parties related to release of containers, the multimodal ocean freight container can be transferred by land (track/rail) directly to the point of final destination.

LCL is an abbreviation for “Less than Container Load”. This shipping term is commonly used to describe an international ocean freight service that designed for shipping boxed, crated or palletized cargo that cannot fill an entire 20 or 40 foot sea freight container.  There are many advantages for international shipping using LCL ocean freight service Vs. using FCL (Full Container Load ocean freight service).

When you share a 40 foot sea freight container with one or more exporters that import or export goods to or from Russia, Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia, you pay only for the space used in a container, but not for a whole sea freight container. As a rule the transit time will be the same as if you would ship a full ocean freight container.

Typically LCL ocean freight rates are calculated is by volume per cubic meter or cubic foot but not by weight. Since cargo vessels capacity is not really limited by weight of cargo but by the hold of the ship, in general weight of LCL freight is not a pricing factor.

Ocean freight shipping rates may be ALL-IN (all-inclusive) or to be subject to surcharges related to a particular origin-destination. Surcharges can be a percentage of the rate offered on top of the international ocean freight rate and/or lump sums added to the ocean freight rate.

Full list of Container Specifications here

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