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Back Know when to use LCL (Less-than-container load)

Which ocean freight mode of transport is best suited to meet your and your customers' needs for fast, economical and reliable transport of their orders? The following overview will help you decide in which scenarios sea freight LCL is the best solution for you.

Transit time

Compared to Full Container Loads (FCL), where multiple routings and transit times are possible and required depending on the service type, LCL shipments are always routed with the fastest available option; i.e. direct transports with the shortest transit times are chosen where available and routings with maximum one-stop are considered if no direct transports exist.

Check point: When you choose LCL, you choose a fast time-to-market.

Economic efficiency

Once you have decided to ship by sea, you may have consignments with volumes suitable as FCL. However, if you are planning shipment sizes that do not fill an entire container, LCL is the more economical option. The simple reason: if you book full containers and do not fill them, you have to pay for the unused space.

Check point: With LCL, you only have to consider the costs for the actual amount of cargo loaded - simple and practical!


With weekly departures in an extensive routing network, LCL services are not only a flexible option, but also a reliable one. As LCL containers are given preferential treatment by carriers, they are usually unaffected by rollovers, cuts or delays, and instead shipped as scheduled.

Check point: When booking LCL, you can rely on the scheduled and advised shipping dates.

Order sizes and cash flow

Product life cycles are getting shorter every year and new products are being introduced at shorter intervals in almost all industries. Production processes are working on demand. Smaller, more individual lots are produced with a need for a fast time-to-market. It is unrealistic to accumulate this cargo over several weeks and only ship it once there is enough for a full container. With weekly LCL services, you can focus on ordering the specific quantities needed and transporting these lots easily and flexibly as consolidated cargo.

Check point: LCL helps reduce your inventory, resulting in improved cash flow as well as increased frequency in shipping and delivery of individual orders.

Digitalisation and transaction turnaround times

Following global digitalisation trends, it has become commonplace in both the private and business sectors to buy products and book services online. Kuehne+Nagel LCL can similarly be booked online in a few simple steps via the myKN platform.

Check point: In myKN, you can quote, book and track shipments instantly - regardless of time zones or business hours. You have full access to rates and departure options at any time so that you can react immediately to new transport projects.

Sustainability in transport

The environmental aspect of global supply chains has become much more important in recent years due to climate change. This makes solutions for sustainable logistics increasingly urgent. Kuehne+Nagel supports you with solutions for this new challenge. Since 2020, Kuehne+Nagel LCL shipments are transported CO2 neutral - at no extra cost for our customers.

Check point: By booking LCL with Kuehne+Nagel, you are meeting the new expectations of the market for more green logistics and actively supporting a path towards a sustainable future.

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