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“Consol Box” may sound a little foreign to you if you are not aware of the terms used in the logistics or maritime industry. To explain the concept of a Consol Box, we need to understand the process of shipping consolidation first. In this blog, we look at the history of shipping consolidation, the processes, and thereafter, the pros of choosing shipping consolidation and a consol box for your cargo freight.

The concept of containerization has been around in the 1950s and since revolutionized how shipping worked.  It pushed the ceiling on traditional means of trading, pushing globalization to the forefront of commercial trading making shipping easier, faster and safer. As the containerization evolved, different sizes (20ft and 40ft), different types and services (FCL/LCL/Groupage) of containerization came to be.  The common containerization types were FCL and LCL, which stand for Full Container Load and Less than Container Load. We will elaborate on these in a future blog post.

The process of consolidation goes hand in hand with the act of “consolidating”. It is often called “Grouping” in certain industry circles thus describing the process simply. The cargo is delivered to the packing station (referred to as a Container Freight Station (CFS)) by the client and thereafter packed into the container. The CFS can be carried out either by the shipping line or a consolidator (who is a firm that is tasked to group together various cargos (boxes/crates) into one shipment. A freight forwarder can often fill in for the role of a consolidator if needed. Now, when the process of consolidation is done under the care of the shipping line and own warehouses, this is known as “LCL Consolidation”. However, if the consolidation is carried out by the consolidator, then the container being loaded is termed as a “Consol Box”.

There are many pros of choosing shipping consolidation service. One would be not needing to incur as many costs or having to carry out certain activities normally associated with FCL shipments. When utilizing a Consol Box, you only need to pay for the space/weight you take up. When you opt for this type of service in your business model, you end up only stocking inventory based on your needs as opposed to maintaining a large inventory at all times which can rack up warehousing costs.

Whilst there are many advantages to choosing a consol box, do remember that there are no “one size fits all” shipping solutions. If your cargo is more than 12014 cubic meters, or is a heavier cargo, then you may find that FCL is the best shipping solution for you. Contact Transco Cargo for your freight forwarding needs, be it a Consol Box or FCL!

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