Today we are going to dive in and learn about a part of cost savings part of commercial trucking called freight consolidation. If you have not heard this term before, you are sure to in the future. In actuality, this is pretty basic terminology that simply means what it says: a consolidation of freight. In plain English, freight consolidation is similar to how a distribution center would load a truck with shipments intended for multiple different retailers of other final destinations. You might wonder why anyone would consolidate their loads. This process is where various small shipments are combined together typically through consolidation services. The loads paired together are all being sent to the same general destination in order to reduce shipping costs. The benefits of freight consolidation saves you money by bundling these smaller shipments into one bigger one. This way will be able to get your shipment where it needs to go for much cheaper and quicker than paying for a full truck.
LCL vs. FCL
To compare these two terms we first need to know what they mean. LCL stands for less-than-container-load, which refers to a scenario when multiple shipments from different shippers have been consolidated into one container.
FCL stands for full-container-load, which is when you pay for the exclusive use of a container for transportation to the final destination.
Benefits of Using Freight Consolidation
Consolidated freight is the most cost-effective option
Consolidated shipments can help streamline your shipping and your supply chain operations
Do not need a full truckload of product to schedule a shipment
Best for smaller shipments with six standard pallets or less
Ability to ship sooner on your end without needing to fill a full container of your own
Fewer trucks on the road means less harmful emissions in the environment
Challenges of Using Freight Consolidation
Delicate goods could be damaged by frequent moving and handling moving items around to get to individual loads within the container more than with other shipping options. This is especially the case in international shipping.
No control over the inventory management of the container, meaning what else is being shipped alongside your goods.
More difficult of the freight shipping options to accomplish by a specific date
Could mean increased transit times compared to a full truckload shipment
Deconsolidation or unpacking of the containers can take a lot more time to get your goods to the final delivery
How to Decide if Freight Consolidation is Right For You
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