Choosing the right container can be a tedious task for traders trying to establish themselves in the international shipping industry. More often than not, newcomers follow the footnotes of their successors without thinking of the consequences. However, one has to realise what worked out well for others may not yield them the same result. So, if a trader is making enormous profit using the LCL (Less than Container Load) shipments does not mean trader B will also earn the same. So, how to decide whether to choose an FCL (Full Container Load) or LCL?
The efficiency of a freight shipment is directly proportional to the shipping container one chooses. The LCL shipments include cargo of different traders while in FCL shipment, the entire container comes under the utilization of a single trader. So, one should consider a few underlying factors to decide which of the two will be perfect for a defined cargo. Click here for more information. Let us understand the determinants of choosing a shipping container.
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Choosing A Shipping Container: The General Principle
A lot of traders find themselves in a loop while deciding which container to choose for shipping their cargo. The reasons behind this ambivalence are the prevailing theories and ideologies of people who believe in transporting their freight in “a certain way”. Every trader and shipper will advise choosing the container that they believe is perfect for shipment. However, a wise trader should neither drive his decisions on these suggestions nor commit the mistake of following the market trend.
The general principle behind choosing a shipping container is calculating the weight and size of the cargo. When cargo is small and lightweight, one must opt for an LCL container for shipping. Since the freight charge of LCL shipments depends on the CBM (Cubic Meter) value of the cargo, the lighter it weighs, the cheaper it costs. Alternatively, when the freight is in bulk or weighs heavy, FCL shipments are the best option!
Factors Determining the Choice of Shipping Containers
While the general principle is the significant driving force for traders, there are a few other factors that must be given a check! Contemplating the effects of these constituents can help one make more profit by saving on this front.
Size of The Cargo
Size of the cargo plays a huge and major role in deciding the type of shipping container. However, some traders try to store the freight until the size is sufficient enough for an FCL shipment. But this theory might not always work, especially when the clients are from two different shipping lines. Developing a strong preference for any one type of shipping container is not a wise decision. One has to be analytical with every shipping contract to grow his business evenly.
Cost of Freight Shipment
Freight rates keep fluctuating, and there is nothing one can do to control it! The dependency of freight charges on external forces like the cost of petrol, foreign relations of two countries, shipping route, etc., make it tough to maintain consistency. Therefore, the best traders can do is compare the freight rates of both LCL and FCL shipments before booking a container.
Nature of Goods
The nature of goods also becomes a crucial factor. If a trader is shipping hazardous chemicals or any dainty goods, he must consider choosing FCL shipment. It will allow him to look after the safe loading and unloading of his cargo. And if one has to choose an LCL shipment, it is better to book it from a service provider who offers the facility of choosing a preferable space in the container.
Availability of Containers
The availability of FCL containers is comparatively lesser than that of LCL containers. If one is shipping cargo that requires urgent delivery, one should go for the latter. Remember, it is better to lose a few bucks than losing the customer.
There are numerous shipping routes, and freight forwarders charge the traders accordingly. Some routes are easier to cover while some are prone to weather changes and so on. So, one must gather sufficient knowledge about the routes and their prices before coming to a decision.
Inventory Storage Facility
The traders who do not have a private warehouse or inventory storage facility must be very cautious while opting for a container. The cost of storage must be in account while holding the freight for an FCL shipment.
Containerized shipments are safe, cost-effective and the most feasible ones in the international trade business. Traders can rely upon the effectiveness of the seaports and freight forwarders who work under the supervision of government bodies and the customs department. All one has to do is choose the appropriate container and a reliable shipping service provider to commence the shipment!