Top 5 Personal Shipping Questions Answered

Eli DolganskyShipping Guide7 Comments

Top 5 Questions

1. How do I know whether I need to ship by Full Container Load (FCL) or Less than Container Load (LCL)?

If you are shipping one pallet or a few pallets, it’s best to ship by Less than Container Load (LCL). This option allows you to only pay for the volume you need within the container and save money as your cargo is “consolidated” with other shippers in a 40 foot container.

If you’re shipping multiple pallets, usually around 8 or more (the final volume will depend on your exact dimensions) it is best to ship by Full Container Load (FCL) either a 20 or 40 foot container. The 20 foot container can typically carry all the furnishings of a 2-3 bedroom apartment or house and the 40 foot will offer at least double the space.

When close to the breaking point between LCL and FCL shipping, many shippers prefer to go with FCL as their goods travel in their own container, with less handling and time spent during the consolidation process.

2. How do I package my shipment?

If you’re shipping loose cargo, we recommend having your goods palletized. This will help ensure that the cargo is secure during transit. Typically, if goods are not palletized the carrier may not accept your shipment as your goods need to be safely handled during the consolidation of the container. If you are not able to palletize the cargo yourself, we can recommend a preferred local warehouse for you to drop your goods where palletization can be done.

Shipping a full container? You have two options:

  1. Load the cargo yourself at your residence. Before requesting this option, verify that large trucks with 20 or 40 foot shipping container on a chassis are allowed in your neighborhood. If you go this route, ensure your personal effects are easily distributed over the container’s floor. You should try to adequately utilize the space not only to get the most value for your money, but to ensure cargo will not move around during transport. If you can only fill a portion of the container, straps can be used to secure goods. Note, the container will be on a chassis and no ramps are included. You must have a ramp handy unless you can easily lift your goods into the container.
  2. Bring your goods, perhaps in a rented truck, to a local warehouse partner. This might be the only option if you are not able to load the container in front of your residence, or need help from LILLY loading the container.

3. How much time do I have to load the container?

We strongly recommend choosing a “live load,” this option allows the container to be delivered to the location you are loading the goods. The truck driver will wait until you are finished loading, seal the container and take it directly to the carrier port or yard. Remember, the truck driver will not help load your goods; their job is solely to drive the truck. Live loads typically come with at least 1-2 hours of free loading time and any additional hours cost anywhere from $75-$95 per hour.

While taking 3 to 5 hours to load the container might sound costly, it may still be cheaper than doing a “drop and pull”. With this option, the truck driver leaves the container on a chassis at your residence for 1-3 days. This causes 2 additional trips and usually amounts to double the cost of the live load.

4. What is the difference between using a freight forwarder for household moves versus a “white glove” service?

We are a freight forwarder, which means we focus on negotiating ocean shipping rates for our customers with all available carriers to find the best shipping cost and route. Our clients take advantage of someone helping them through the entire international moving process, taking care of insurance, transit time requirements, and any customs documentation required. The strength of freight forwarders lies in getting goods across international waters, from point A to point B. We do not typically package your goods at your residence like a traditional moving company.

The alternative is a “white glove” international moving company, but this can be quite an expensive option and is not in the budget for most personal shipments. Individuals looking to move internationally can save a tremendous amount of money using a freight forwarder that is skilled in shipping personal belongings. Just think of us like a travel agent for your goods!

5. Do I need insurance?

While insurance is not required to ship personal effects, we strongly encourage it. Many times, the limited insurance provided by the ocean carriers will not cover common claims. Your goods have a long trip ahead of them moving by truck, being handled at the port, and sailing across an ocean. Cargo insurance offered by LILLY covers most shipments door-to-door, for the full amount. Should a claim be necessary, LILLY will handle it for you until the claim is settled.

This is just a small portion of the many questions about personal shipping we get asked on a daily basis. Do you have a question we didn’t answer? Let us know in the comments below. Or you can give us a call at 888-464-5459 and ask to speak with one of our personal shipping experts!

Eli Dolgansky
Eli is a member of the Business Development team here at LILLY + Associates with almost 10 years in the logistics industry. Fluent in Hebrew, Russian & English, Eli handles numerous international and domestic clients helping them find the best shipping solutions worldwide while providing top level customer service.

7 Comments on “Top 5 Personal Shipping Questions Answered”

  1. lawrence rose

    thanks for the questions and answers page,it was helpful to read.Looking forward to shipping with you soon…..Larry

    1. Kristel Kouly

      Hi Larry, we appreciate you taking the time to read our post and we’re glad you enjoyed it! We look forward to speaking with you soon on your next shipment.

  2. inga salgado

    Thank you for the information. I want to shipp a travel trailer ( full of home items,) to cancun or, playa del carmen, Mexico, do you station there? Thank you

    1. Philip DiPatrizio

      Hello Inga,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your comment. I hope you enjoyed the article! I have contacted Eli Dolgansky on our team to let him know about your question and he will be sending you an email shortly. We look forward to doing business with you soon.

      Philip DiPatrizio

  3. Brian T. Code

    Hi. I am looking at a boat (1997 Boston Whaler, Outrage, with T Top, On a twin axle trailer With a 225 H.P. Yamaha 2 stroke engine.) on Craigslist, that is in Charleston South Carolina. How much will it cost me to ship it from there to San Juan ? Thank you .Sincerely, Brian T. Code

    1. LILLY + Associates

      Hello Brian,

      Thanks for reaching out. I forwarded your question to Eli Dolgansky on our Business Development team. Eli is also the author of this article! He should be emailing you soon.


  4. Farshadmohamadi

    Hi, I have a machine shipment, shipper mentioned we need FR container because the width is 3.3m .
    Can I use OT or any suggestion because the FR cost is more than 35000 USD and is also unavailable?

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