What is N.V.O.C.C Operators?

Pearl TCDT is a NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier). Small shipments – which less-than-container load (LCL) shipments, can take advantage of the lower costs associated with being a big shipper. We, at Pearl TCDT as NVOCC book space on steamships in large quantities at lower rates and sell space to shippers in smaller amounts. NVOCCs consolidate small shipments into container loads that move under one bill of lading. Our favorable rates are passed on to the shipper.

NVOCCs operate as carriers and should be evaluated by applying the same service, price, and delivery standards. Pearl TCDT operates as either a traditional freight forwarder or a NOVCC, to provide flexibility in transit times, sailings, routings, carriers and pricing. The benefits to be gained by customers due to this approach include, increased capability and shipment visibility, a reliable, time definite global service, cost effective routings and multiple service options.

NVOCC vs. Freight Forwarder: Points of Distinction

  • You must be a freight forwarder to be an NVOCC, but not all freight forwarders are NVOCCs.
  • NVOCCs always arrange ocean transportation; freight forwarders may arrange ocean, air or inland transportation up to a specified point in the journey where the importer’s (or buyer’s) agent takes control of the movement of goods based on the Incoterms 2020 rule agreed upon by the seller and the buyer.
  • NVOCCs are permitted to add a profit percentage onto their rates. Freight forwarders are only allowed to add operational fees.
  • An NVOCC is an intermediary between the shipper and the vessel operator and issues their own bills of lading. A freight forwarder is an authorized agent acting on behalf of the shipper. For an additional fee, the freight forwarder will generate the required documents, file your electronic export information through the Automated Export System (AES) and provide other services.
  • While both ocean freight forwarders and NVOCCs must obtain an Ocean Transportation Intermediary (OTI) license from the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the requirements for obtaining one are different for freight forwarders and NVOCCs.

When and How to Choose an NVOCC

So how do you decide if you should work with an NVOCC or a freight forwarder for your international shipment? Basically, it comes down to the level of service you need. If you know what you’re doing and only need to book passage on an ocean vessel, working directly with an NVOCC will probably save you money. A freight forwarder, on the other hand, will work with your company to identify the best route for your goods, negotiate the best rate for the shipment and provide additional services and advice that is usually well worth the additional expense.

As you grow your relationship with a freight forwarder, it’s important to periodically discuss your needs and evaluate their offerings to better understand what they do and the services they provide. If you eventually need an NVOCC, ask your freight forwarder for a recommendation. Or, consider whether it will be helpful to simply work with a company that combines the two.