What is groupage shipping?

Bringing your goods and furniture from home is often the most cost-effective way to establish yourself in your new country. Find out how to reduce costs when shipping your belongings, and the best shipping solution for your needs!

You might ask yourself; Do I need to pay the full price if I am only shipping a few items? What is the most budget-friendly shipping method?

When you are planning to transport your goods internationally, there are a few options you can consider: groupage shipping, or full container shipping. Which shipping option is best for you? It all depends on how much you want to ship, your timeframe, your preference, and your budget. Many moving companies offer groupage shipping as part of their moving services, as well as Full Container Shipping (FCL).

what is groupage shipping

What is groupage shipping?

Groupage shipping, also known as shared-container shipping, group shipping, part load, consolidated moving or, in the freight industry, LCL (Less-than-Container Load) shipment, is mainly used when you only want to ship a few items and want to save on costs on your international move. This type of shipping is generally for couples or families living in an apartment or standard 1-to-2-bedroom house.

When to use groupage shipping

  • You only need to ship a few pieces of furniture or goods.
  • Your cargo does not fill up a full container.
  • You don’t mind sharing a container with other people moving to the same country.
  • You want to split the costs of a container.
  • You don’t mind waiting a bit longer for your goods.

What is Full Container Load shipping?

Full Container Load (FCL) shipping is typically for transporting a large amount of personal effects, enough to fill 80-100% of a container. This type of shipping is generally for families that live in a standard 2-to-3-bedroom house and need to ship all their belongings. The average transport time for an FCL container is normally 8 to 10 weeks door-to-door but can take as long as 5 months. Since the introduction of lockdown in 2020, there have been major shipping delays in the freight industry. We advise our clients to take this into account and only choose trustworthy moving companies. Reputable moving companies tend to receive more shipping requests, so they fill containers more frequently. Since containers only depart once they’re full, this may slightly reduce shipping times, but this is not guaranteed.

When to use Full Container Load

  • Your cargo nearly fills the container.
  • You want your goods to travel exclusively (even if they do not fill up an entire container).
  • You want your goods to arrive sooner.
  • You are willing to pay a little extra.
  • You want a service that provides better security.

Save costs on your container shipment

While Full Container Load offers better security measures (once your goods are loaded, the container is securely sealed and only reopened at destination) and a shorter waiting period (you’re not waiting for other people to add their belongings to yours), this option may not be the best from an environmental or financial perspective.
Groupage shipping has a lower environmental impact and saves you more money. The only downside is that you will have to wait a while until the container is full before it can set sail. But you don’t pay for storage while your goods are awaiting shipping.

How much does group shipping cost?

There are no universal standard prices for container shipping. The cost will depend on the weight and volume of your goods, the exact distance to its destination and the exchange rate. You will normally be charged per cubic meter, depending on the weight. The final cost will depend on the details of your move.
Contact Magna Thomson to chat with a consultant about your group shipping and moving requirements. We are here to answer any questions you may have.


Contact Magna Thomson to chat with a consultant about your group shipping and moving requirements. We are here to answer any questions you may have.