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What Is Less-Than-Carload? | Speed Commerce

What Is Less-Than-Carload?

3PL Glossary > Less-Than-Carload (LCL)

What Is Less-Than-Carload?

Less-than-carload (LCL) is a shipping and freight term used in the transportation industry to describe the shipment of relatively small amounts of freight that do not fill an entire railcar or truck. In an LCL scenario, multiple shipments from different customers are combined and transported together, allowing for cost savings and more efficient use of cargo space. This method is particularly beneficial for businesses that have smaller quantities of goods to transport, as they can share the transportation costs with other shippers.

What Are the Key Advantages and Challenges Associated With Less-Than-Carload (LCL) Shipping in the Logistics Industry?

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In a less-than-carload system, shipments are typically palletized and labeled individually to ensure easy sorting and identification during transit. LCL carriers specialize in consolidating and managing these smaller shipments, providing a cost-effective solution for businesses with varying shipping needs. The use of LCL services is common in industries where the volume of goods to be transported is not large enough to justify the cost of reserving an entire truck or railcar for a single shipment.

LCL shipping offers advantages such as cost savings, reduced transit times, and increased flexibility for businesses with diverse shipping requirements. It allows companies to access a shared transportation network, optimizing resources and minimizing the environmental impact associated with transporting partially filled vehicles. LCL services play a vital role in the modern logistics landscape, enabling businesses to efficiently and economically move smaller quantities of freight across various destinations.


Yes. LCL shipping is specifically designed for businesses that do not have enough freight to fill an entire shipping container. It allows small businesses to share space in a container with other shippers, reducing costs and making international shipping more accessible for smaller loads.

Yes. LCL shipping involves consolidating multiple smaller shipments from various shippers into a single container. This consolidation helps optimize space utilization, lowers individual shipping costs, and makes it more economically viable for businesses with smaller cargo quantities.

Yes. LCL shipping is often more cost-effective for businesses with smaller cargo quantities, as they only pay for the space they use within a shared container. This cost-sharing model makes international shipping more affordable for small and medium-sized enterprises that do not require the entire capacity of a shipping container.

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