Even though there are a lot of similarities, there are plenty of differences between a NVOCC vs a freight forwarder. For most people, these terms seem interchangeable. Don’t they both ship my goods overseas? Since so many people get confused on the distinctions we put together a guide on the differences between the two.
Read our article on the NVOCCs vs freight forwarders below and start your next international shipment with Schumacher Cargo Logistics.
What is a NVOCC? (Non-vessel Operating Common Carrier)
A Non-vessel Operating Common Carrier, NVOCC for short, does what the name suggests. This means the company provides all the ocean carrier services other than providing the ship. To list, some of the duties include issuing a bill of lading, buying services from carriers, and operating under FMC guidelines. In short, what this means for customers is they buy the space on the ship for your goods. Without one, you will not be able to get cargo space for your goods from carriers.
Comparing NVOCC vs Freight Forwarders
With the definition out of the way, we’ll get into actually how NVOCCs and freight forwarders are different. Technically they fall into the same business category by the FMC. This category is Ocean Transportation Intermediaries or OTI for short. In this group, they both facilitate ocean transport, but there are some key differences. A big way to separate the two is that a freight forwarder does the organization around the shipment while a NVOCC carries out the ocean shipping itself.
Freight forwarders help with addressing the steps of your shipment and organizing the process. Services they offer can include customs clearance, warehousing, booking cargo with carriers, and transportation. Entities that are not NVOCCs cannot get space directly, so they need to book through a carrier as well. They can still find great rates, but the service is through a third-party.
A NVOCC provides the actual ocean carrier services through their own services. They act as the shipper to the carrier and the carrier to the shipper. However, most of their services are solely related to ocean shipping. This means they don’t do the parts of the shipment such as moving your goods around or helping secure documentation.
It is actually possible for companies to be both, so they can offer you the full range of benefits. When operating like this, a company does not need to go through third-parties with shipments. They facilitate both the logistics around the shipment and the shipment itself. This is good for customers as the rates and services are all provided by the same company.
Start Your Next Shipment With Schumacher
Now that you know the differences between a NVOCC vs a freight forwarder, you’re ready to start your next shipment with more knowledge. Schumacher Cargo Logistics is both a premier NVOCC and freight forwarder and can handle shipments of all kinds. With over 40 years of experience shipping to and from the USA to countries around the world, we can get your shipment to where it needs to go.
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