Differences Between NVOCC and Freight Forwarder

Parties involved in Shipping and Transportation
Non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) don’t own and operate their own vessels, but they do play the role of carrier, offering the services of other parties, such as rail freighters, air-cargo lines, trucking companies, consolidation warehouses and ocean freighters.A non-vessel operating common carrier can be described as a carrier to the shipper and a shipper to the carrier.

A freight forwarder (FF) is to commodities as a travel agent is to people, acting as a third-party to arrange the movement of goods from their domestic origin to a foreign destination. Freight forwarders, while not carriers themselves, coordinate the movement of cargo by using the services of other parties, including ocean freighters, air-cargo lines, rail freighters and trucking companies.

Differences Between NVOCC and Freight Forwarder
A NVOCC and a FF offer similar international shipping services but play different roles during the movement of cargo.
As instructed by the shipper/customer, NVOCCs and FFs may be responsible for booking space on the carrier, documenting exports, establishing cargo insurance, dvising the shipper on foreign import regulations, providing guidance on proper packaging, marking and labeling of commodities and arranging the packing and containerizing of goods.
NVOCCs can (and frequently do) own and operate the containers they ship; they may also lease (for their own use or others’) said containers. Cutting out the middle man, these workers eliminate steps within the shipping process, as well as those who are involved in each step. Freight forwarders do not (and cannot) follow this same protocol.
Certain countries, such as the United States, require NVOCC operators to make a public tariff; this takes place when each respective operator reports his or her tariffs to the correct government branch. Each country has various rules set into place, including who is to be the point of contact, and when they should be contacted. Again, this isn’t requested of freight forwarders.
Depending on the location, NVOCCs may have to take on the status of a “virtual carrier”. While other places require each NVOCC to take on the liabilities of the carrier. This is considered to be somewhat riskier, as well as taking more responsibilities, but many NVOCCs say that it is more than worth the added effort.
Freight forwarding companies may act as either an agent or partner for a NVOCC; the vice versa is not true. Again, this provides more freedom and allows NVOCCs to adjust to the task as necessary.
Freight forwarders gather all required documentation for entry to foreign countries from their customers and carriers, amended to comply with foreign regulations, and forwarded to the final destination party for clearance. NVOCCs, however, act as the carrier and issue their own bills of lading or air waybills. These carriers amend the commercial invoice and packing list from the customer to comply with foreign entry regulations before forwarding the documentation to their foreign agent, who ensures clearance, breakdown of the container and arrangement for delivery to the consignee.



Source : Oxford Shipping


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