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NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers)

What is an NVOCC?

NVOCC stands for Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier. Its role involves contracting ocean freight cargo and shipping lines in order to move shipments from one point to another. It establishes an agreement with carriers for a fixed number of slots on their vessels each year in exchange for low rates.

NVOCCs form the largest trade maker in the container shipping industry. It issues Bill of Ladings, assumes liabilities and responsibilities for the shipments, and may also own and operate its own or leased containers.

Different between NVOCCs and Freight Forwarders

NVOCCs and Freight Forwarders are OTIs (Ocean Transportation Intermediaries). But they’re not synonymous. 
NVOCC can issue its own Bill of Ladings whereas a freight forwarder cannot; they can only work based on a carrier (or NVO) Bill of Lading.
Perhaps the most important difference is that NVOCCs, in certain cases, accepts all liabilities and responsibilities for the shipment. Freight forwarders, on the other hand, do not have this responsibility. Additionally, freight forwarders can act as an agent or partner for an NVOCC but the reverse is not possible.

Why the NVOCC should be FMC-licensed ?

Given the sheer amount of NVOCCs in the world, choosing one right for you may prove a daunting task. How do you know which is the best one for you? The first and foremost step of such a process would be to ensure that your NVOCC is licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).

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