Ocean Freight – FCL (Full Container Shipping) or LCL Less than a Container Shipping consideration?

Picture: dashu83

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world’s 23rd most populous nation. There are three capital cities in South Africa: executive Pretoria, Judicial Bloemfontein, and legislative Cape Town. The largest city is Johannesburg, about 80% of South Africans are Black African ancestry, divided amongst a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages and growing African middle class.

South Africa Imports and Exports

South Africa is most popular for Importing Machinery, Mineral Products, Vehicle and Aircraft vessels, chemicals, equipment components and iron and steel products. The country mainly exports platinum, motor vehicles, iron ore, coal and similar solid fuels and gold.

Terminal - GoGirl LogisticsPicture: dashu83

What are the different South African Terminals?

Port of Johannesburg

The container terminal, located at City Deep in Johannesburg, is the world’s largest dry port. Some 50 percent of cargo that arrives through the ports of Durban and Cape Town arrives here.

Port of Durban

The Port of Durban, commonly called Durban Harbour, is the largest and busiest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa. It handles approximately 31.4 million tons of cargo each year. It is the fourth largest container terminal in the Southern Hemisphere, handling approximately 4.5 million TEU in 2019.

The Port of Durban, commonly called Durban Harbour, is the largest and busiest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa. It handles up to 31.4 million tons of cargo each year.

Port of Cape Town

The Port of Cape Town is the port of the city of Cape Town, South Africa. It is situated in Table Bay. Because of its position along one of the world’s busiest trade routes it is one of the busiest ports in South Africa, handling the largest amount of fresh fruit and second only to Durban as a container port.


Gqeberha has been an important port and harbour on the South Africa east coast ever since the first British settlers began arriving from 1820

Port of East London

The Port of East London is the only remaining river port in South Africa, situated at the mouth of the Buffalo River in the Eastern Cape.

At Go Girl logistics we offer Ocean freight Shipping solution.  

Clients have two factors to consider: Do I need a FCL or LCL?

What is the meaning of FCL in shipping terms?

The short form FCL in shipping stands for the term ‘Full Container Load’. This means that a shipment occupies the entire space of a container, without having to share it with other shippers. In an FCL cargo, the complete goods in the container are owned by one shipper.

Go Girl logistics offers professional and cost effective container shipping services. The average length of these containers is either 20-feet or 40-feet.

What are the Benefits of FCL?

There is no need to consolidate loads, FCL shipping is faster thus reduced transit time. There is less handling of your goods as the container will be opened at its point of destination. Once the container is loaded, it is sent to the port and loaded onto a cargo ship. We have fixed departures from and to all major ports worldwide. When the container arrives at its destination, your goods are unloaded and delivered to the consignee.

What does LCL mean in shipping?

The counter term is LCL – ‘Less than Container Load’. 

LCL is the term used to describe the transportation of smaller ocean-freight shipments, these are small, consolidated shipments that do not require a full container. LCL-container is also called ‘consolidated container’.

Benefits of LCL
LCL (Less than Container Load)

LCL is used for transporting smaller shipments that are less time-critical between the world’s major ports.

You get your goods on their way as soon as they are ready, instead of having to wait until your goods fill a complete container

Disadvantage of LCL shipping is that you can’t decide what other types of cargo you share the container with. There may be delays beyond your control since the container is used by several parties.

Picture: jcomp

How to decide between FCL and LCL?

Factors to consider when choosing between FCL and LCL include the size of the shipment, weight as well as the shipping dimensions. For example, if the shipment consists of only one or a few pallets, it may be cheaper to ship them in a consolidated container.

Another important consideration is the nature of the shipment: Do you have dangerous goods? Urgency of your shipment, how fast does the shipment have to arrive? If you’re shipping dangerous goods or need your cargo to arrive quickly, an FCL might be a better option.

For more information about our container shipping services, contact us: