The first question to address here is the difference between a freight forwarder and an NVOCC. NVOCC stands for a non-vessel operating common carrier. This refers to an individual or company that organises the transport of shipments from manufacturer/producer to the final market or customer. While a freight forwarder essentially carries out the same work, an NVOCC does not own its own ships for transportation purposes. Instead, an NVOCC organises the transport by buying space on vessels and then selling this to their customers at a profit. Unlike a freight forwarder, an NVOCC can issue a bill of lading which is the contract between the NVOCC and the
If you are looking to set-up your own NVOCC in the United States, there are a number of licenses that you need to apply for and acquire. You will have to go through multiple stages of the bureaucracy in order to get it. The body that you need to apply to is the Bureau of Certification and Licensing which falls under the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). It is the FMC that has the power to grant your license. Once you apply for the license, you need to show the body that you are deserving of the license. This means you have to have has sufficient expertise in shipping as well as proof that you will be able to provide your customers with quality services. Additionally, your company should be in accordance with every guideline that is stated in the Shipping Act of 1984. An advantage of being an NVOCC over a freight forwarding company is that you can set your own prices and rates. Additionally, if you yourself are applying to be an NVOCC, you can tap into a market of specific clients who want shipping services but cannot afford to pay the high rates given by freight forwarders. In these situations, it will be fairly simple for you to simply combine two shipping consignments and charge your own tariff rates for them, thereby making more from one route than is possible by a freight forwarder.
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There are simple steps to take if you want to shift your services from using a freight forwarder to an NVOCC. There are also several advantages to this. The NVOCC assumes responsibility for the shipment of the goods from one place to another and assumes the role of the carrier. Additionally, using an NVOCC allows you to directly track your goods from one point to the other and be aware of any delays or accidents that occur on the journey.
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