A: A liftvan is a large wooden or corrugated crate specially designed for shipments of household goods and personal effects. Liftvans are used when a shipment is too small to be economically shipped in an FCL steamship container or when a shipment requires a higher level of extra protection. In the USA, a standard “Type II” liftvan crate has an internal capacity of approximately 170 cubic feet / 5 cubic meters. The liftvan is designed to efficiently fit inside of a steel steamship container. Individual liftvans are consolidated at a container freight station and loaded inside a steamship containers for ocean transport. This provides another level of protection for the shipment.
The method of shipping individual liftvans in a consolidated steamship container is called “LCL” for ” Less-than-Container Load.”