What is aggregate shipping? 

Aggregate means a whole formed by adding several separate, different elements. Likewise, in freight and logistics, aggregate shipping refers to a single freight consignment — which consists of goods transported from multiple sellers or consignors — clubbed together and directed towards one receiver (or consignee).

Thus, this “sum of multiple shipments” is considered as a single shipment called an aggregate shipment.

Aggregate Shipment v/s Consolidated Shipment

While both of them include several consignors, aggregate shipment is treated as a single consignment and is directed towards one consignee. A consolidated shipment, on the other hand, can be directed toward multiple receivers.

Consolidated shipment combines several individual less-than-container load (LCL) shipments from different shippers as one full container load (FCL). Comparatively, aggregate shipments may cover multiple containers traveling to the same consignee, or they can occupy only part of a full container.

Thus, aggregate shipment can be considered a specific type of consolidated shipment.

The Aggregator Model

Logistics aggregators make aggregate shipment accessible to all businesses, big or small — by tying up with various carrier companies to provide consolidated services. This simplifies the entire freight transportation process of matching the sellers with relevant carriers.

Shipping aggregators optimize logistics operations for sellers, regardless of the industry type. They are beneficial for growing businesses that cannot handle direct or individual shipping. Today, logistics aggregators deploy technology for user-friendly digital platforms or freight marketplaces.

Why Use Aggregate Shipping Model

Aggregate shipping helps consignors to:

  • Single point of contact. With digital aggregators, sellers do not need to contact several carriers for multiple shipments. They can streamline transactions with just one aggregator.
  • Greater price flexibility. Some aggregators offer a flexible pay-per-shipment option that optimizes costs based on the volume of aggregate shipment.
    • Easy shipment tracking. Senders can monitor their combined shipment at the click of a button via a digital platform.
  • Maintain freight safety. An aggregate shipment passes through fewer intermediaries, thus, there are lower chances of mishandling and damage to cargo.
  • Have a wider reach. Shipping aggregators can cover delivery to remote areas. You do not have to set up branches in multiple regions across the globe.

Things to Note When Choosing Aggregate Shipping Carrier

Finding a suitable carrier who meets all requirements can be challenging. But, you can consider two factors for aggregate shipping:

  • Technical knowledge

The aggregator should have the required technological know-how and past experience to run aggregate shipments without disruption. Technological capacity includes carrier integrations, safety regulations, data compliance, and a solid financial framework.

  • Timely planning

Aggregate shipments can take longer than other methods of shipping. This is due to additional steps for combining individual shipments. Sellers and carriers need to plan their delivery times in advance and consider the time taken for aggregating as per the process.

Despite these shortcomings, aggregate shipments are comparatively less expensive and efficient for delivering goods. Using a reliable aggregator is best to ensure the process runs smoothly.

Terms related to aggregate shipment

About Container xChange

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