LCL shipments preparation – the perfect package!

LCL shipment

A crucial part of sending an LCL ocean freight shipment is preparation. Before comparing container shipping prices, knowledge is the power to know how to package your merchandise to prevent pitfalls and repeat common mistakes.

Damage control

If you have chosen to send a Less than Container Load (LCL) shipment, you must protect your cargo even more than when shipping an FCL (Full Container Load). Since you are sharing a shipment in LCL by definition, you must take extra measures to ensure the safe transportation of your merchandise. The most effective way is through packaging. Unfortunately, inadequate packaging is a frequent cause of damage to goods – be they fragile or not, they are jostling against those of others. The best practice is to find the best and most adequate material to use – it must be a perfect fit to avoid risk. So, no corner-cutting when it comes to packaging. To note, certain insurers do not cover damage due to inadequate packaging.

Boxes, bubble wrap, and more

Rule number one – always pack your cargo in boxes – not bags, not suitcases, or any other container. If you’re unsure, look for companies that sell boxes created explicitly for exports. If you’re exporting fragile merchandise, first fill the boxes with bubble wrap to protect the items. Additionally, seal each box properly. Remember, your boxes will be at sea and may be susceptible to intense movements along the journey.

Consistent packaging

When you arrange your goods, do so uniformly and evenly. Avoid an unbalanced section in weight or a part protruding too high. Shipping companies calculate prices according to merchandise’s cubic volume. If you do not evenly distribute your goods, your volume could increase and cost more.

Volume is a more complex topic involving calculating shipment dimensions in cubic meters (CBM) and palletization. Exporters calculate the volume to receive LCL shipment quotes from freight forwarders. However, they must keep palletization in mind when making this calculation. With FCL shipping, merchandise can move loosely inside the container. However, LCL shippers share a container; therefore, goods must be adequately and ideally palletized. Exporters’ goods are usually palletized upon arrival at the chosen shipper’s warehouse. However, some exporters choose to self-palletize. If you want to DIY, make sure you know how to prevent customs from not rejecting cargo at the destination due to regulatory compliance failure.

After palletizing goods and depending on the pallets used, your shipment volume will be slightly higher. Your calculation must take this into account. You may under-report and incur more costs if your estimate is too close.

Layer on the labeling

Each and every box must include a label showing the shipper’s name, consignee’s name, country of destination, freight forwarder’s name, and booking number. Labeling is crucial for visibility during stacking and palletizing in the container and for the various stages of unloading and loading that it will endure. If possible, make put your labels on all sides of the box.

Additional factors regarding labeling:

  • Mimic page numeration
    When you’re printing out – or reading a lengthy document, say twenty pages, the easiest way is when its numbered page 1 of 20, 2 of 20, and on. In this way, you know if your printer – or you, missed a page. It’s just much easier to keep track. The same principle applies to labeling your merchandise boxes. Adding a number to each label indicates its position regarding the total number of boxes you have — for instance, Box #1 of 20, Box #2 of 20, etc. You may include the numbers on the main label or write them separately.
  • Labeling fragile goods
    If your merch is fragile, label this visibly and clearly on each box containing those goods. As with numbering, add this to your label and stick a ‘FRAGILE’ tag on all sides of your box. In this way, you ensure that its status is visible even if it moves around. Note that you can request that the freight forwarder does not have your pallets stacked on top of each other, mainly if you export fragile goods. Therefore, it is also advisable to add a ‘non-stackable pallets’ label on all boxes and all sides.

The next step in prep is knowing the actual shipping process! Watch this space!

eezyimport offers an eezy Freight Ocean Service based on years of a deep understanding and knowledge of the supply chain industry and customer pain points. We will help you navigate the complex and costly shipping world and accelerate your success!

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eezyimport is an online platform and is not a licensed customs broker. However, we work closely with a third-party licensed customs broker who can assist with any entry-related issues.

eezyimport is an online platform and is not a licensed customs broker. However, we work closely with a third-party licensed customs broker who can assist with any entry-related issues.

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