Ocean Freight

Less-than-Container Load (LCL)

We know that sometimes your cargo might not fill a full container. To meet your needs, we offer less-than-container load (LCL) departures between major ports.

What is LCL?

When you ship LCL, you allow your shipped goods to share a container box with another shipper’s cargo. How much you pay is determined by the weight of your goods and how much space they take up in the container. The smaller and lighter the shipment, the less you will have to spend.

Is LCL right for me?

While you can definitely save money sharing a container, LCL shipping does come with an added risk of damage to your goods. Often, damage occurs when shippers don’t package their goods well enough. We know the dangers and will make sure that your cargo is palletized and loaded with precision and care — to protect from coming loose or being damaged by other objects in transit.

How much does LCL cost?

Give us your details, and we will calculate an estimate based on volume, weight, and your destination. If your cargo volume exceeds 350 cubic feet, we will compare shipping rates to FCL (full-container load) to get you the best deal.

How does LCL work?

Just like in FCL shipping, all of your cargo must be boxed on a standard or euro pallet. We can help with this. Let us know if you have large items that might exceed the standard pallet measurements. This cargo will be considered “loose” and should be specially wrapped and loaded. We’ll handle that. As a non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC), Eastern has the experience and connections to find the right container to fit your shipment and get it to its destination on time. With our on-the-ground relationships, we can often secure you reduced rates. With LCL, your goods will leave usually on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule depending on the shipment and your destination. As you might expect, smaller ports off the beaten path could take more time for delivery. Smaller ports frequently have more limited equipment too, meaning that unloading and processing might take longer. We’ll let you know what to expect — no surprises.

What’s the difference between a euro pallet and a standard pallet?

For LCL shipping, you must box your cargo on either a standard or euro pallet. Here are the dimensions:

  • Standard: 47 ¼" X 39 ⅜" or 1.2m X 1m
  • Euro: 47 ¼" X 31 ½" or 1.2m X 0.8m

Using wood?

If you use wood when you pack your goods or load your pallets, it must be follow standards set by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). We can help with that.