Should I Use an NVOCC?

People throughout the shipping industry have different ideas about who they should work with or who makes the best customers. Many people wonder why there are companies like NVOCC’s when there are so many ocean carriers available. Are there benefits to working with an NVOCC instead of just the steamship line directly? In actuality an NVOCC is much like a freight forwarder who has the benefits of a carrier. And it is important to know how a NVOCC operates if you choose to use one.

For instance, an NVOCC can be easier to deal with than a steamship line for loss and damages. Since they issue their own bills of lading, they are responsible for your shipment as a carrier. The difference is that they have more flexibility with freight rates and can sometimes be easier to deal with since they are smaller companies. NVOCC’s can also handle your cargo as a freight forwarder and can set up all logistics from origin to destination without interruption unlike a carrier. So with your bill of lading, you get the security of a carrier with the all-inclusive services of a freight forwarder.   

There are some drawbacks to using an NVOCC instead of a carrier. Information may be slower for your shipment tracking since they do not operate the ships and their rates are only as good as their contracts will permit. If your business ships thousands of containers every year it may be easier to go directly with a carrier. Whether to use an NVOCC or go directly with a carrier can be personal preference of the shipper, but an NVOCC can be a great choice when you are shipping ocean freight.