When you ship your personal goods or commercial cargo by sea from Japan or from anywhere in the world, normally they are transported in shipping containers. There are two kinds of container shipping services from Japan. One is FCL (Full Container Load) service and the other is LCL (Less than Container Load) service. Unless you are shipping a large amount of goods, you are likely to use the services of LCL.
LCL is also called “Share-the-Container” services. Basic idea of LCL is that shippers who are shipping relatively small amount can ship at reasonable prices by sharing the space of containers with those who are shipping to the same destination. It is called consolidation and there are a number of consolidators offering the services of consolidations from Japan to various parts of the world. This service is useful as one can ship even a small amount by paying only for the space of the shipping container used as otherwise one would have to rent a full container even for a small shipment. Remember, however, that LCL container services are available only to the destinations where there are many cargo are transported to as it is not possible to make a consolidation and fill up the container for destinations where there are not many cargo are shipped to. Consolidation container shipping services from Japan are available to major destinations such as the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Asia (China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong), India, South Africa, Europe (UK, France’ destination agent arrange inland delivery to various destinations in the USA making it possible to deliver to landlocked states.
Normally consolidation container services are available once a week to major destinations. For major destinations where there are many cargoes are consigned to such as Hong Kong or Singapore, the frequency may be twice a week.
Japan is known to have long holidays such as obon holidays and New Year holidays and during such holiday seasons, consolidation container shipping services may not be available and one must wait for one or two weeks.
Full Container shipping is for very large shipments. In theory the capacity of 20 feet container is 33 cubic meters. However, when loading shipments into shipping containers, the dead space would have to be considered. If a shipper is shipping a large number of packages of boxes with the same size and shape, they would be stacked nicely and there would be less dead space. In the case of household goods / personal effects shipments, they are normally packed in boxes (or even crates) or various sizes and also it may not be a possible to pile up to the high level. Therefore, there would be much dead space. With the dead space in mind, perhaps its maximum capacity would be much less.
If you contact a container carrier directly, you will find that the charge of shipping container itself is very inexpensive considering the volume. However, when shipping internationally there are various other charges and in fact it is the other charges that make up the most of the international container shipping charges.
One would think that if the volume of a shipment is over 10 cubic meter, it may be worth shipping as FCL, however, because the rates for consolidation (LCL) is quite low nowadays, it may be less expensive to ship as an LCL shipment.
The advantage of shipping in FCL is that services are available to much more destinations than the destinations for LCL. For example, if shipping from Japan to the USA, the direct services will be available to such destinations as San Francisco, Seattle and Baltimore. There are services available to more destinations in Central /South America and also Africa where it is not possible to ship to as LCL cargo.
Note that even when you are shipping your goods in a full container, it will be necessary to have items such as pieces of furniture crated.
If you are interested in getting a quote for container shipping from Japan, contact us and get a quote.