Shipping via LCL is a cost-effective alternative to FCL and air freight, especially at times when budgets are tight and economic uncertainty makes forecasting difficult.
Throughout Covid-19, LCL services have also proved extremely valuable for transporting products like medical supplies and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). With air capacity severely limited or not a viable option for standard shipping, LCL has kept transit options open.
It‘s a great solution for organisations that are prepared to wait longer than they would for air freight or whose stock requirements don’t meet a full container load, as they can make use of this facility to order only what they need.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen LCL become a convenient option for those companies looking to move smaller consignments that require specialist temperature control services. It has also proved popular with ecommerce companies that need to apply more caution to the amount of stock they order, when storage space may be minimal but demand has increased.
But, despite these obvious advantages, some organisations can be put off by the complexities associated with LCL.
In truth, most of these challenges are caused by a lack of transparency. Fear of hidden costs or uncertainty over sailings and transit times will undoubtedly lead to concerns over budgets and impact planning. Missed schedules can clearly be detrimental to sales and customer service.
Where there is greater visibility available we can start to remove many of those issues, but there is still the headache of managing the support services around the shipping container itself.
Companies often find the de-consolidation process to be inefficient and laborious, as multiple orders need to be separated before continuing on the journey to their final destination. Add to that customs checks, which can often take longer because documentation checks will need to take place on multiple consignments.
If you don’t have support, managing all these variables and liaising with so many parties throughout the process can be stressful and time consuming, and outweigh the benefits.
In order to realise the maximum benefit from LCL it’s vital that you’re able to see and understand what’s happening at every stage of the journey – from pickup to delivery.
Better still, you should be looking to partner with one organisation that has the capacity to control each step in the process and keep you fully up-to-date with progress.
This would provide companies with a single point of contact who can advise on best timings and rates, manage any changes to schedules or transit times, handle import and export customs and deconsolidation, and provide real-time tracking for complete visibility over delivery.
Having a single partner that can effectively co-ordinate every touchpoint throughout the shipping process, from the point of collection to drop off anywhere in the world, simplifies everything.
Any unforeseen circumstances or special requests can also be resolved, leaving companies free to enjoy the flexible and cost-effective benefits of LCL, without having to navigate any complexities.
Find out more about how we can help you to get the most from LCL through the Rhenus Gateway