Groupage transport, i.e. the need to send several or several dozen parcels to recipients in various places requires preparing an appropriate plan to minimise logistic costs of the whole process. Even the largest logistics operators offer this kind of transport among their other services. In many cases groupage transport constitute quite a large part of their activity.

Groupage transport is the delivery from point A to point B of the small size goods, i.e. LCL (less than container loads). They are processed goods and finished goods that can be packed in an individual or collective packagings. They must have solid external form and at the same time they cannot be divided during trans-shipment. The important thing is to be able to weigh and count the particular load. The payment for the groupage transport is for the actual or calculated weight of the load.

The main characteristics of LCL are:

– large number, dispersed senders and recipients

– relatively small unit weight

– variety of shapes and packagings

– combining in the cumulative load

With the need to transport a small batch of goods, groupage transport is flexible, safe and first of all beneficial form of delivering it to the customer. In logistics and shipping the LCL are the most common loads, and the operators operate advanced transport solutions simplifying the transport.

The packaging protects the load

LCL is more time-consuming and labour-intensive during loading and unloading than bulk goods. Therefore, to increase the efficiency of the entire process the units are created, i.e. several or several dozen packagings are combined into one load unit. This happens for example by binding them together, placing on a pallet or in a container. There are LCL loads with a packaging (in a bag, box, barrel, basket, cage, case, cylinder or bubble) and with no packaging. The packaging plays an important role, since LCL loads are more vulnerable to damage or destruction than other loads. On the one hand the packaging protects the goods, on the other makes transport easier.

There is quite long list of goods that cannot be sent as LCL. Among them there are live plants, animals, weapons, explosives, food, jewellery and securities. This is mainly due to the specific characteristics of such loads.

The customers’ expectations are similar. – They usually ask about the frequency of LCL transport and delivery times to end users. For the customers with large, regular flows of loads, the hours of reception from the shipping warehouses are particularly important. The role of the logistics operator requires tailor-made solutions to ensure late hours of reception and fast delivery times. Only efficient and extensive international distribution network can provide the customers with the expected service level – said the experts of DSV Road.

Groupage transport – time more important than money

Currently, most customers do not talk about the price of the service, before the operator confirms the expected time of the order completion.

– Therefore, the price of the service in LCL transport is no longer the most important element of the logistics provider selection – said DSV Road.

The same operators have been successfully operating on the market for years. The customers are interested in the territorial availability of the network and the time of delivery. They also expect the information on its current status at every stage of execution and require guaranteed delivery times, as such a guarantee, in turn, is important for their business partners.

They also ask about the range of additional services, such as the return of the documents, bringing the shipment and unpacking the goods on site. The fact that for the customers using groupage transport, apart from the freight price, the most important thing is the time of shipment transit, which should be as close as possible to the time of transit in the carriage of full container service – said Michał Kołodziejski, the head of sea products of DHL Global Forwarding.

 First of all we are aiming at the expansion of direct connections between terminals (the so-called direct box), which minimise the number of transhipments and the transit time is the fastest. For this purpose we transport the LCL shipments straight from Hamburg, saving the time required for transshipment and freight of the container by another ship to the port in Poland. Customers sometimes also ask about the maximum parameters of groupage loads and the types of goods that can be carried by this kind of transport. Some groups of goods, such as high value goods, perishable goods and dangerous goods (IMO) are excluded from this type of transport – said Michał Kołodziejski.

Go Logis, which developed the deliveries to and from Turkey, is one of the companies stressing the importance of the cooperation with a trusted partner for the efficiency of groupage transport. This happened thanks to the collaboration with Prologus. The loads are parts and components: pumps, frames, pneumatic systems, radiators, transmissions, air conditioning systems, glass panes. In groupage transport the goods are consolidated in the warehouses in central and southern Poland. In Turkey LCL loads are stored in the warehouse in Stambul before shipping to Poland.


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