Matson Logistics, a unit of liner shipping firm Matson Inc., said yesterday it launched a less-than-containerload (LCL) ocean freight service from China to New York that will embed the cost of "final-mile" deliveries from the unit's U.S. East Coast container freight station (CFS) in nearby Elizabeth, N.J., to destinations within 75 miles.
Shipments will spend 10 days on the water from Asia to entry at the Port of Long Beach. After clearance and drayage, the goods will then be trucked coast to coast in four days. The freight would be available at the Elizabeth facility on the fourth day to be delivered to the final destinations, according to the Matson unit.
Jeffrey Ivinski, director of sales and marketing for Matson Logistics Supply Chain Services, a Matson Logistics business unit managing the program, said the business unit's all-in rates are competitive even with the de facto free deliveries from the Elizabeth container station. Such a move can save the consignee a large chunk of money in what is known in the trade as the "tail fee" from the CFS.
LCL services are designed for shippers whose cargo is insufficient either in volume or weight to qualify for rates applied to a standard ocean container. It is marketed as a less-costly alternative to international airfreight, whose lighter-weighted consignments share some of the same characteristics as LCL cargo.
Though LCL transit times are longer than for air, the significant markdown in rates—often as much as 50 percent compared to air—makes LCL an attractive option for some shippers.