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Freight from the USA
What is LCL freight?
You may ask, “What is LCL freight? Why should I consider shipping goods from the USA overseas LCL?”
In respect of international cargo transportation, LCL is an abbreviation used in Sea freight for shipping from the USA a Less than Container Load. In other words, LCL means shipping from the U.S. consolidated cargo. LCL freight is typically used for shipping from the USA of relatively sizeable cargo, but when the cargo volume is not enough to fill an entire 40-foot container. I.e., with LCL, a shipper shares a sea freight container with other shippers. LCL shippers significantly reduce their transportation costs and are not obligated to load and secure cargo in containers.
Ship freight LCL from USA
LCL freight can be used for shipping from the USA commercial cargo as well as for transportation from the United States household goods and personal effects instead of hiring international moving companies.
Customers that consider shipping goods from the USA abroad frequently ask, “What are the advantages and disadvantages of shipping LCL?” We are not going to discuss all modes of international cargo transportation. Let's talk about sea freight.
If you consider an LCL shipment, then your first question should be, “Is my cargo too small or too big for LCL?”
I. LCL should be appropriate for cargo that exceeds its volume of 0.2-0.3 cubic meters. If you're shipping from the USA small box, you should consider a parcel service like USPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.
We'd suggest watching this video on YouTube to visualize a shipping volume when calculating in cubic meters.
Shipping cargo LCL
From this picture, you can get an idea of how many small and large shipping boxes can fit into just one cubic meter.
Ship boxes by cubic meter
Running ahead, here is the answer to the frequently asked question, “How much do you charge for shipping a kilo or lbs?”
The answer is: In LCL, freight rates for regular cargo self-delivered to ocean freight carriers’ terminals (professionally called container freight stations or CFS), the weight of the cargo is not a pricing factor but just the overall volume of shipping goods. Freight rates in LCL are calculated per cubic meter or cubic foot, not by kilograms or lbs. In other words, with LCL, most of the time, you can disregard the weight of your cargo. However, there is always a minimum charge. Typically the minimum charge is equal to the shipping cost of a cargo of volume of one cubic meter (or about 35 cubic feet).
II. On the other hand, if your shipment is large and can fill an entire 20 or 40-foot container, you should consider FCL freight (full container load). When shipping FCL, always remember that with FCL, shippers are always held responsible for loading and securing cargo in containers. Unless you are a professional in container loading, shipping cargo volumes of about 20-25 cubic meters should still be suitable for shipping with LCL.
Also, keep in mind that shipping from the USA by FCL is heavily restricted at each stage of the transportation by steamship lines. From the beginning to the end. With FCL, the shipper is held responsible for container pickup at a container yard, the proper container load, and timely container return to the yard in the United States. Pickup, delivery, unloading of the container at the destination, and timely return of the empty container. Ignoring any restriction may result in significant penalties from steamship lines.
Now, let’s see how shipping cargo from the USA using LCL freight benefits international shippers.
LCL is a cost-effective way to ship. If your international shipment fits LCL, it significantly reduces the shipping cost compared to other international cargo transportation modes.
Shipping freight LCL is the more convenient and flexible way to ship cargo from the U.S. compared to other modes of international cargo transportation.

ISPM15 pallets

However, there are restrictions on shipping cargo LCL. Some restrictions apply on shipping any freight, regardless of the mode of international cargo transportation. Some of them are related particularly to international shipping from the USA overseas when using LCL service. Here are the most common restrictions that international LCL shippers should be aware of:

Avoid shipping from the USA abroad any food products, wine, and drugs. Shipping from the United States any food products, including wine, liquors or drugs, edible animal byproducts, supplements, etc., are subject to special regulations in the USA, as well as in destination countries. Violations of such rules may result in cargo detention, confiscation, or cargo destruction. Besides that, it may lead to fines and even criminal charges. All responsibility to provide proper documentation, permits, etc., is the consigner and consignee's responsibility.  All incurred costs are on account of the consigner and consignee.

To make it simpler, when packing your goods to shipping from the U.S. overseas, avoid shipping any items that are considered dangerous or prohibited when you send a parcel to your local USPS office. Just stay away from shipping abroad:
If you pack in used boxes, erase all former shipping labels and marks, especially if it relates to dangerous goods or hazardous materials.

With LCL, you cannot ship any motor vehicles that require DMV registration.

We’re continuously reviewing inquiries for shipping from the USA different kinds of motor vehicles by LCL. Unfortunately, any motorized vehicle that requires DMV (U.S. Department of Motor Vehicles) registration, such as automobiles, motorcycles, mopeds, ATVs, jet skis, etc., are not permitted for shipping from the USA with LCL freight. It is because the United States Customs does not recognize ocean freight carriers’ terminals (CFS) as exam sites for motor vehicle inspection.
No motor vehicles
If you would like to ship a motorized vehicle from the States overseas by sea, then you should consider exporting the vehicle in a 20 or 40-foot container (FCL) or RO-RO, but LCL.
However, you can pack and ship any vehicle which does not require DMV registration, like mini choppers, snowmobiles, golf carts, self-propelled wheelchairs, specialized construction and special mobile equipment, forklifts, etc. Always check with DMV before you ship any from the USA overseas any vehicle, regardless of the mode of international cargo transportation.
Fortunately, any legal motor parts are permitted for shipping from the USA using LCL. The typical exception is exporting from the USA used tires.

If you ship from the U.S., motor parts containing any fluids (such as engines, gas tanks, etc.), it must be completely drained. Large and heavy pieces must be crated or securely attached to pallets.

Remember, if your international shipment contains a battery (even a dry battery), then the entire load may be considered a dangerous goods shipment. Additional documents related to dangerous goods shipping must be provided, and hazardous surcharges will apply. Transportation of dangerous goods must be approved at the time of booking, and the shipper should be informed about additional requirements and charges before the cargo is scheduled for international shipping from the United States.


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