Utilizing Global Freight Consolidation

Air and ocean consolidation can provide strategic benefits for shippers, this white paper explores global consolidation options and the outcomes companies can expect when consolidating their freight. By C.H. Robinson

October 25, 2016

It’s not always possible for companies to fill an entire container with their own export freight.

Both small organizations that cannot wait to fill a container, and large ones with high value cargo, may have between 1 and 15 pallets to ship at a time.

Air and ocean carriers require shippers to work with freight consolidators to accommodate small volume shipping needs.

Consolidators accept complementary freight from multiple shippers and combine this freight into less than container load (LCL) boxes for ocean shipping or Unit Load Devices (ULD) for air.

The entire LCL or ULD is tendered to the ocean and air carriers for transport.

Companies of any size can use consolidation service, but it is particularly useful for organizations with lean supply chains or those who operate in just in time (JIT) environments.

These companies use logistics efficiencies from freight forwarders, consolidators, and 3PLs to move smaller quantities of material more frequently; they make a strategic decision to spend more on shipping so they can spend less
on inventory, storage, returns, and other costs.

This white paper looks at the process of air and ocean consolidation options that are available, and the role that consolidation can play in global supply chain strategy.


  • What options are there for air and ocean freight consolidation?
  • What are the strongest transportation lanes for freight consolidation?
  • Is it possible to accommodate unexpected changes in routing freight?
  • What commodities should and shouldn’t be consolidated?
  • 4 questions to ask before selecting a freight forwarder

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