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Everything You Need to Know About NVOCC in Shipping Terms - Riseonic Shipping line

Everything You Need To Know About NVOCC

If you are involved in the shipping industry, you may have come across the term NVOCC. But what exactly does it mean? NVOCC stands for Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier. In simple terms, an NVOCC is a company that acts as a middleman between the shipper and the carrier. It plays a crucial role in facilitating the transportation of goods by providing a range of services. In this article, we will reach out to the world of NVOCC in shipping terms and understand its significance in the global trade landscape.

Understanding the Role of NVOCC in Shipping Industry

NVOCCs have become an integral part of the shipping industry in recent years. They act as intermediaries, helping shippers transport their goods from one location to another efficiently and cost-effectively.

Furthermore, unlike traditional carriers, NVOCC in shipping does not own or operate their own vessels. Instead, they consolidate shipments from multiple shippers to fill up containers and book space on vessels operated by ocean carriers. However, this allows them to offer competitive rates and flexible shipping options to their customers.

Understanding the Role of NVOCC in Shipping Industry - Riseonic Shipping Line

One of the key roles of an NVOCC shipping line is to handle the documentation and paperwork involved in international shipping. They are responsible for preparing bills of lading, certificates of origin, and other necessary documents required for customs clearance. Additionally, NVOCCs also provide cargo insurance, arrange for inland transportation, and offer warehousing and distribution services. Besides, their comprehensive range of services makes them a one-stop solution for shippers looking to transport their goods across borders.

How NVOCC Works and Its Significance in Global Trade

Firstly, NVOCCs work by entering into service contracts with ocean carriers. And then these contracts allow them to reserve a certain amount of space on vessels at pre-negotiated rates. However, by having these contracts in place, NVOCCs can secure space on vessels even during peak shipping seasons when space may be limited. This ensures that their customers’ shipments are given priority and are not left behind due to lack of space.

Furthermore, the significance of NVOCC container lines in global trade cannot be overstated. They play a crucial role in facilitating the movement of goods between countries, enabling international trade to thrive. Equally important, NVOCCs help small and medium-sized businesses access global markets by providing them with affordable shipping solutions.

Additionally, they ensure that shipments are handled efficiently, reducing transit times and minimizing the risk of delays or damage to goods. Without NVOCCs, the complexities of international shipping would be much harder to navigate for shippers around the world.

NVOCC vs. Freight Forwarder: What's the Difference?

To better understand the role of non vessel operating common carrier, it is important to distinguish them from freight forwarder. While both entities are involved in the transportation of goods, there are key differences between the two. Let’s compare them:

NVOCC Freight Forwarder
Non-owning ocean carrier service
Shipping agent with added services
Cargo responsibility during transportation
Non-liable shipping agent
Carrier assuming cargo responsibility
Shipment coordination intermediary
Logistics and supply chain expertise
Flexible transportation service provider
Comprehensive transportation service offered

Find out more about freight forwarders in our blog “Freight Forwarding” and learn how this essential service keeps global trade moving.

As you can see, NVOCCs take on more responsibility for the shipment by issuing their own bills of lading, the scope of services offered by freight forwarders can vary widely. However, this makes them an ideal choice for shippers looking for competitive rates for ocean transportation.

Important Concepts Related to NVOCC in Shipping

To fully understand non vessel operating carrier and its operations, it is essential to familiarize yourself with some important terms and concepts. Here are a few key ones:

1) Bill of Lading (B/L): A document issued by the NVOCC that serves as a receipt for the goods and evidence of the contract of carriage.

2) House Bill of Lading: The bill of lading issued by the NVOCC to the shipper.

3) Master Bill of Lading: The bill of lading issued by the ocean carrier to the NVOCC.

4) Telex Release (TR): Moreover, a method used by NVOCCs to release cargo without the physical surrender of the original bill of lading.

5) Container Freight Station (CFS): Additionally, a facility where NVOCCs consolidate Less-than-Container Load (LCL) shipments into full container loads for ocean transportation, or deconsolidate full container loads into LCL shipments for distribution to consignees.

Consequently, understanding these terms is essential for anyone involved in international shipping, as they form the basis of the documentation and processes involved in NVOCC operations.


NVOCC stands for Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier, which refers to a company that acts as an intermediary between the shipper and the carrier in the shipping industry. Some examples are Super Middle East freight & logistics and Riseonic Shipping Lines.

Yes, an NVOCC can issue a bill of lading. In fact, it’s one of their key functions.

NVOCCs act like ocean carriers without owning ships. They buy space from real carriers, consolidate cargo, issue their own bills of lading, and take responsibility for your shipment during ocean transport.

No, NVOCCs and freight forwarders are similar but not the same. Here’s a quick breakdown:

1) NVOCC: Acts as a carrier, issues bills of lading, specializes in ocean freight.

2) Freight Forwarder: Acts as an agent, coordinates shipment aspects, offers a wider range of services (including inland transport).


In conclusion, NVOCCs play a pivotal role in the shipping industry by providing essential services that facilitate the transportation of goods across borders. Additionally, their ability to offer competitive rates, handle documentation, and ensure efficient handling of shipments makes them an indispensable part of the global trade landscape. However, by understanding the functions and significance of an NVOCC in shipping terms, businesses and individuals can make informed decisions when it comes to their shipping needs, ultimately contributing to the smooth flow of international trade.