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The point of the matter is that, almost always, when sending cargo to Sri Lanka or any other destination, originating from the same port, the choice of shipping term makes all the difference in transit time when choosing FCL versus LCL. For instance, when sending cargo to Sri Lanka on FCL basis, you will almost always be able to receive your shipped cargo faster than LCL. Here is why!

Back to the Basics of FCL versus LCL

Down to the shipping terms, we look at FCL which stands for Full Container Load and LCL which stands for Less than Container Load (also known as Groupage). FCL essentially means to say one container (be it a 20ft or 40ft cargo container) is booked and utilized to ship cargo from the origin (Australia) to destination (Sri Lanka). LCL however refers to consolidation of cargo from various shippers and consignees in order to fill a container as one shipper alone may not be sufficient, and that is where the term Groupage comes into light, as the cargo space and costs of shipping is shared with others.

Groupage Shipping

If we were to access why LCL or Groupage shipping takes longer than sending cargo to Sri Lanka via FCL it’s because of the process that must occur during the course of the shipping route based on the shipments on board.  The Groupage shipping container may have taken on cargo shipments from various shippers and consignees, apart from the particular cargo to Sri Lanka.

For instance, if you are sending cargo to Sri Lanka via LCL, but it has a stop at a hub port in Singapore (be it as it is a designated hub port for shipping line or the groupage operator),  the container and its cargo may be reworked. This means to say that, the cargo will be reworked and consolidated based on the destinations from thereon (with all cargo to Sri Lanka, all cargo to India, all Cargo to Mauritius, etc).

The fact of the matter is, as groupage shipping is worked out where both the cargo and costs are shared, in the event that there is not enough LCL bound cargo to Sri Lanka at the port of Singapore (as per this example), there is a possibility that the container will be held up at that port till it fills up considerably.  Whilst the transit time for sending cargo to Sri Lanka via FCL is usually 16 days barring natural disaster occurrences that may delay sea faring, the difference in transit time for LCL may be considerably slower due the reasons outlined.

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