An LCL shipment, as the name implies, is anything smaller than a full container load. Generally, this is referring to ocean-going cargo.
If you do not have a full container’s worth, LCL can be a viable option.
Most of the time, LCL will be consolidated into a container; however, there will be more time when your cargo is in a warehouse (say, before consolidating, or after arrival but before delivery). This can potentially expose your cargo to theft.
If you have four or more pallets of cargo, it might be a good idea to check on 20′ container rates. While that amount would only fill about half of a 20′ container, depending on the destination, a 20′ might be more economical at this volume.