Difference between a freight forwarder and NVOCC

Difference between a freight forwarder and NVOCC

A Freight Forwarder is someone who undertakes to handle the movement of goods from point to point on behalf of the cargo owner..

A NVOCC which is the abbreviation for Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier maybe defined as a “carrier to shippers” and “shipper to carriers”..

Functionally the NVOCC is ALMOST the same as a Freight Forwarder in terms of her activities.. However there are some differences which separate these two entities..

  • The NVOCC can and sometimes do own and operate their own or leased containers whereas a Freight Forwarder does not..
  • In certain countries like USA, the NVOCC operators are required to file their tariffs with the government regulatory bodies and create a public tariff..
  • NVOCC is in certain areas accorded the status of a virtual “carrier” and in certain cases accepts all liabilities of a carrier
  • A Freight Forwarding company can act as an agent/partner for a NVOCC..

Apart from the above major differences, all other activities between these two entities are similar to each other..

You can read more about this in my previous post reg the back to back bill of lading (http://shippingandfreightresource.com/2009/11/23/what-is-a-back-to-back-shipment/)

What did you think of the above article..?? Comment below..

31 comments on “Difference between a freight forwarder and NVOCC

  1. naveen pandey says:

    Dear Sir,

    We are Custom Clearing agent in Delhi & wish to start our Freight forwarding. Most of customers are importers. Kindly let us know how we can start Freight forwarding. What type of licence we may required.

  2. Srinivasan ramesh says:

    I would like to start a Streamer Agent business (Moving containers from one country to another in India/Chennai). Will there be any handy feasibility project report available which contains all the details for a start-up in this field ? Please suggest me a few ! it is most urgent !!

    1. Hello Srinivasan, I dont think there is such report available in the public domain.. You will have to do the research to find out the required info..

  3. Abdel says:

    I need to understand when is a container considered as Over weight ? OW and will incur insto additional surcharge beacuse of this. As per standars info there are limits / max weight declare per each box type / size but I noticed for example that a 20GE hast a limit of 30,000 pound but carriers charged me for overweight over 27Tons. why is that and what are those limits for OVER weight?

    1. Hello Abdel, I have responded to this as a post (http://shippingandfreightresource.com/when-is-a-container-considered-as-over-weight/) for others also to know and follow..

  4. Jagdish Bisht says:

    what is F178, Certificate of Origin ?

  5. Gustavo says:

    I will be starting as a Customer Service Representative for a local freight consolidator. I would like to learn as much as I can about the shipping industry. I’m very eager to learn.

  6. One of the readers of this blog Jeff pointed out that there is also a major legal difference between the two being :

    1. A freight forwarder acts as an agent of the shipper therefore represents the interests of the cargo itself.
    2. An NVOCC is a special legal entity that can issue bills of lading and acts like a shipping company – they will usually rent slots from a shipping line for which they become responsible for selling space and therefore would act on the other side of the table to a Freight forwarder.
  7. Danny Laud says:

    Very concise and comprehensive.

  8. nitin says:

    Dear freinds can yoiu pl tell me what is the diffrent between telex released Bl and surrender bl .

  9. bigboy joseph says:

    I want to know the difference between ship agency and freightforwarding and clearance

    1. Hi Bigboy, please run a search on this blog for the info you are looking for and you will find it..

  10. Nice info.. thanks for sharing .,..

  11. Abdul says:

    very nice and helpfull information , please, keep it up ~

  12. Amit says:

    keep sharing your knowledge. good. thanks for information

  13. Bhubal says:

    Can anyone tell me if L/C ask for Bill of Lading and exporter presents House bill of lading for negotiation is discrepancy?

    1. Manaadiar says:

      Hi Bhubal, a lot of banks allow House Bill of Lading for negotiation.. It depends on the bank and the beneficiary if they will allow House bill to be used for negotiations.. Some beneficiaries specify in the L/C that HBL not allowed..

  14. Lu says:

    I have a well establish clearing agency and keen on persuing the freight forwarding side of my business. Please advise which institute/s and governing body I need to contact to get started.

  15. Mike Hands says:

    In order to start a freight forwarding business you must either have, or appoint an officer who has, 3 years of OTI (Ocean Transportation Intermediary) experience. International Car Shipping is much different than Domestic Auto Shipping. There are less regulations when vehicle shipping within the United States as opposed to international auto shipping.

  16. chris says:

    i would like to start a freight forwarding business, is NVOCC a requirement for me to operate and how do I get this NVOCC.

  17. Do COGSA and therefore the Haugue-Visby rules apply to a NVOCC bill of lading? Is a NVOCC bill of lading a bill of lading for the purposes of the Rules?

    1. Hi Brandyn, each bill of lading is subject to the terms and conditions under which it is registered or governed and this will be decided by the carrier that is issuing the bill of lading..

  18. Burhan says:

    Anyone who will elaborate the difference between Slot chartering and NVOCC arrangements.

  19. james muriuki says:

    telex release is a case where the shipper is not given the original bill of lading but are scanned to local agent.

  20. Carlos says:

    “…cases, an NVOCC operator might request for a telex release from the line so that they can issue their house bill of…”

    Sounds like someone is shipping with Maersk. In its most simpliest explanation it is basic an electronic message releaseing the cargo (like an E-mail)

  21. Alpana says:

    I’m doing some research and wanted to know what are the technology enablers to NVOCC businesses. Not just in terms of freight forwarding application suites but also in terms of hand held devices, RFID, etc. Is the industry in the developed countried truly technology-driven?

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