Deconsolidation refers to the act of separating the contents of a consolidated shipment into individual shipments. Such consolidated shipments are usually containerized but need to be delivered to separate consignees. Deconsolidation may also be referred to as degroupage.

A consolidated shipment is prepared when a freight forwarder puts together separate consignments in order to come up with a full container load. This takes place at the port of origin of the individual consignments.

By combining the shipments in one container as a unit load device or ULD, the shippers are offered the benefit of lower shipping rates. At the same time, containerizing individual shipments helps reduce security risks. Once the consolidated shipment arrives at the destination port, it is deconsolidated or degrouped in order to facilitate delivery to the separate recipients.

Shippers who may need to re-allocate their shipments may also benefit from the processes of consolidation and deconsolidation. By consolidating shipments which would normally fit in two separate containers which measure 40 cubic feet into just one container which measures just slightly more than 50 square feet, it is possible to cut on shipping costs by nearly half. Once the consolidated shipment is degrouped in a deconsolidation center, sorting can be done depending on the most appropriate distribution patterns.

Also, decisions on distribution may be deferred while the shipment is still grouped and then finalized when the shipment arrives the deconsolidation center. In this way, the shipper is sure that the shipments will be delivered to the best location at the time of delivery.