CONSOLIDATION of what? Assume you want to travel from Aberdeen city center say from the front of Primark shopping mall to somewhere in Garth Dee like Robert Gordon University campus, without a personal car. Two options are open to you; either you join the public bus transport provided by FIRST transport company or you take a taxi with more comfort and more cost implication.
Assuming you are one of the guys that love comfort zone like myself, and would not consider the option of mass bus transit at all, and yet you are limited by the amount of money in your hand. What if there are 2 or 3 friends in the same situation? Maybe, you want to pull resources together to pick the taxi. This arrangement would ensure that you enjoy the desired comfort with even lesser cost burden on all friends.
A similar arrangement is made in international shipping by customers of freight Forwarders. This article is focused on shipping to Nigeria of Less-than-Container-Load (LCL). We shall begin by understanding the shipping term LCL.
CONSOLIDATION: LESS-THAN-CONTAINER-LOAD (LCL)
From our experience as cargo handling specialist, we have found out that most often than not, the importer’s cargo does not fill a full container, which is usually some 33m3, and yet, like the traveller described in the introduction above, they still want to enjoy the comfort and safety offered by shipping with container.
The freight Forwarder with many of such LCL customers gathers their cargos and consolidates same to make full container loads, thereby enabling all enjoy the comfort of container shipping and at reduced expenses. An LCL service therefore refers to the service rendered by freight Forwarders to their customers.
Such services are not limited to merely engaging a shipping company to transport cargo from one location to another, but could embrace a whole lot from export haulage, paper works, export cargo clearance, loading and unloading, import cargo clearance, import haulage, etc. in a separate article, I will talk about how to find the best freight Forwarder.
CONSOLIDATION: MATTERS OF CONCERN TO THE FREIGHT FORWARDER
Every freight Forwarder would like to know the clear answers to the following questions that would aid the LCL booking.
- What level of services do you want from the freight Forwarder besides door-to-door?
- Also, what is the shipment supply country and specific location address?
- What is the destination country?
- Then, when is the cargo needed at the destination for your use?
- What is the content and dimension or measurement of your cargo?
CONSOLIDATION: MATTERS OF CONCERN TO THE CUSTOMERS
The customers of a freight forwarder, having supplied clear and unambiguous answers to the above questions to the Forwarder would also like to know answers to the below questions from the Forwarder.
- What is the shipping line?
- Yes, what is the transit time?
- What are the container detention free days?
- Again, what is the shipping schedule?
- Furthermore, what is the routing?
- What are the export formalities at the origin?
- And sometimes, what are the import formalities at the destination?
CONSOLIDATION: The Concept of Transit Time to Nigeria:
In my next article, I shall deal heavily on concepts such as the transit time and what it entails, routing and booking. Suffice to say the following from experience with our clients
- shipping from Europe to Nigeria takes approximately 20 days to 2 months,
- The shipping from Middle East to Nigeria takes approximately 1 month to 2 months
- Also, shipping from south East to Nigeria takes 20 days to 60 days
- Shipping from America to Nigeria takes 1 month to 2 months, etc.
Shipping to Nigeria or any part of the world of a LCL requires a thorough understanding and agreement on matters of concern to both the Forwarder and the Customers. Our article for shipping terms and meaning defines all things in the Nigerian context.