The process of LCL consolidation involves the movement of less than container load cargo from an Inland Container Deport to a nominated 'hub' terminal under customs seal, usually in a domestic container of some sort. At the nominated hub terminal, the sealed containers are opened and the cargo re-worked on a destination wise basis without having to be subjected to re-examination by customs. Indian Customs permitted the reworking of LCL boxes in certain nominated 'hub terminals' mostly located at port cities in the year 2000.
This has already led to a tremendous increase in the business of LCL consolidation in the country. Export LCL consolidation of different ICDs' custom cleared cargo, often along with locally cleared LCL cargo makes for must faster clearance of cargo, and reduces the end to end transit times between the originating points and destinations of the cargo being moved.
Reduced transit times of LCL hub movements have provided opportunity to shippers to move their LCL consignments faster, at extremely cost effective LCL sea tariffs. Due to the reworking of such cargo at nominated hub points within India, direct destination sailings to USA, Europe, Africa, Gulf etc., become available via the Mumbai/Chennai transshipment HUBs. This also reduces the sea transits for LCL movements, which otherwise have to face a more expensive transshipment at locations like Singapore or Colombo.
CONCOR currently provides LCL consolidation services from various locations such as Agra, Moradabad, Kanpur, Dhandari Kalan (Ludhiana), Whitefield (Bangalore), Tondiarpet (Chennai), Sanathnagar (Secundrabad), Sabarmati (Ahmedabad), Nagpur, Aurangabad, Mulund (Mumbai) and Pithampur (Indore).
CONCOR's ICDs at Tondiarpet (Chennai) and Mulund-East (Mumbai) have been nominated as 'Hub' points for transshipment. In addition, a substantial amount of traffic is also moved between hinterland terminals and the hub points at the Maersk's CWC's CFSs at Dronagiri Node in Mumbai. While most of the movements of LCL consolidation cargo are road based, in the case of very long lead, CONCOR has even made the arrangement of moving the containers by rail up to Mumbai, and re positioning them locally by road to Dronagiri for reconsolidation.Some of the special features of this service from different locations are:
- Most of the services move on fixed road schedules, to ensure connectivity with ship sailing from the gateway ports after reconsolidation at CFSs/terminals at Gateway Ports.
- The cargo is moved either in close body trucks or domestic containers. Some forwarders are also moving the cargo in their own containers.
- CONCOR has earmarked separate space for consolidation and de consolidation activities in its existing warehouses, and plans to continue doing so in the new warehouses being developed.
- CONCOR acts as Custodian of cargo up to the HUBs (Re-working Places) in India i.e., CFS, Mulund/ CFS, Dronagiri, CFS/Tondiarept. At the HUBs, the LCL consolidator presents both the copies of Shipping Bill to the proper officer of Customs who verifies the genuineness of documents and checks the marks and numbers of the seal on the trucks/containers as recorded on the documents. CONCOR has already executed bonds for the transport of goods from various ICDs to "HUBs" and vice versa.
- For exports, all customs formalities relating to cargo examination etc. are completed prior to the movement of cargo. Shippers have to give a copy of the invoice and packing list of each shipping bill, to be checked at the consolidation terminal, and subsequently forwarded to the hub centre. CONCOR issues a delivery order to each of the parties to enable them to collect the cargo from hub centre.
- For import cargo, consolidators are required to hand over LCL consignments for a particular destination to CONCOR at the hub terminal after completing customs formalities relating to transhipment at the hub point. Thereafter, CONCOR carries the cargo to destination and arranges delivery of cargo after its customs examination etc. at the nominated ICD. Bills of entry are required to be filed only at the destination ICDs. Each party i.e. CHAs, consolidators, shipping lines has to issue a separate delivery order to their customers at the ICDs, which is required to be surrendered at the time of delivery of cargo.
- CONCOR accepts LCL cargoes from CHAs, Consolidators, shipping lines irrespective of the volume of the cargo available with each of them.