Less than Container Load. A term used to describe the transportation of small ocean freight shipments not requiring the full capacity of an ocean container – Usually less than 20 CBM (cubic meters). A freight forwarder may create a “Consolidation” by putting together multiple LCL shipments.
The process of LCL consolidation involves the movement of less than container load cargo from an Inland Container Deport to a nominated ‘hub’ terminal under customs seal, usually in a domestic container of some sort. At the nominated hub terminal, the sealed containers are opened and the cargo re-worked on a destination wise basis without having to be subjected to re-examination by customs.