LCL sea freight container rates
Less than container load (LCL) is a mode of shipping where cargo from various shippers is packed (consolidated) into the same container; this is done to save on shipping costs and is best used for a shipment that is not large enough to fill a standard cargo container.
As a rule of thumb anything below 10 cubic meters in volume should be sent via LCL. Cargo is delivered to a container freight station (CFS) where it is received, manifested and packed into a share container.
Once all cargo has been packed, the container is sealed and delivered to the wharf to be loaded onto the vessel.
Upon arrival at the destination port the container is unloaded from the vessel and taken to the destination CFS to be unpacked.
For LCL shipments the term ‘CFS to CFS’ is stated on the Bill of Lading, this indicates that the contract of carriage is from the receiving container freight station to the destination container freight station, it should be noted that these freight stations are not always located at ports and may be an inland destination
Costs Involved with LCL sea freight shipping
LCL shipping is billed differently from full container load (FCL) shipping. Charges are levied at a rate per cubic meter/ tonne (whichever is greater).
The chargeable volume/ weight is not rounded and therefore charges are applied at the rate times the specific volume or weight, for example: 5.2 cubic meters of freight, with a freight cost of USD $ 85.00 per cubic meter/ tonne will have a total freight cost of USD $ 442.00, conversely 3.73 tonnes of freight going to the same destination will have a freight cost of USD $317.05
Destination charges are billed in the same manner. Depending on the choice of commercial trade terms (Inco terms) negotiated with the shipper you can expect to pay some of the following charges:
Export Document Fee - this is a fixed rate fee charged on a per shipment basis.
International Freight - the cost of transporting the cargo overseas from the origin CFS to the destination CFS and billed in the fashion shown above.
In LCL shipping international freight is inclusive of, inter alia, BAF (bunker adjustment factor: a fuel surcharge), PSS(peak season surcharge: an increase in the freight rate applied during the busiest time of the shipping season), GRI (general rate increase: a standard increase in the freight rate), CAF (currency adjustment factor: an exchange gain made on converting one currency to another), FIF (foreign inland freight) from the receiving freight depot to the packing CFS - only applicable where the receiving depot is in different location to the packing CFS, and AIF (Australian inland freight) from the unpacking CFS to the outturn freight depot – only applicable where the unpacking CFS is in a different location to the outturn freight depot.
On a ‘freight prepaid’ shipment both the export document fee and the international freight are paid to the shipping agent at origin, under commercial terms CFR and onwards these charges should be billed to the shipper.
Port Service Charge (PSC) and Terminal Handling Fee (THF) - these are the charges are for unloading the container from the vessel, movement from the wharf to the CFS and unpacking of the container, they are billed similarly to freight at a specified rate per cubic meter/ tonne.
Delivery order fee (DOF) – a fee for import documents needed to collect your cargo from the freight depot it is a fixed rate fee charged on per shipment basis.
Sea Cargo Automation (SCA) – is a fee for lodging your shipping manifest with Australia Customs it is a fixed rate fee charged on per shipment basis. PSC, THF, SCA and DOF are payable to the break-bulk agent in the destination country, again depending on the chosen commercial trade terms some or all of these charges may be prepaid by the shipper.
Additional to the charges stated above you will need to arrange for customs & quarantine clearance, and delivery in your destination country.