NVOCC - HBL and FMC - Why It's So Important

NVOCC: HBL and FMC – Why It’s So Important

An NVOCC, or Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier, is a freight forwarder that acts as a carrier. In other words, they control cargo as a freight forwarder without owning any vessels, but play the role of a carrier in that they can issue their own House Bills of Lading (HBL) and Airway Bills (for all air shipments). A business can only change from being a freight forwarder to an NVOCC through registering with the Federal Maritime Commission, which can be a lengthy process. Needless to say, there are many benefits of working with a dedicated NVOCC to handle your shipments.

Becoming An NVOCC

The Federal Maritime Commission is in charge of issuing and collecting licenses for validating freight forwarders and NVOCC’s. All NVOCC’s must submit various documents to the FMC to indicate financial stability, business validity, and experience. The FMC requires all businesses applying for an NVOCC license to have worked in the freight forwarding industry for a multitude of years, as well as invest in surety bonds to indicate the financial stance of the company. After getting pre-approved for a surety bond, submitting this and a license application to the FMC, and paying all necessary charges for acquiring a license, the FMC can then issue a validated NVOCC license to a business.

Becoming an NVOCC has a variety of benefits, such as acting as a freight forwarder and carrier simultaneously, issuing their own House Bills of Lading, and publishing their own tariff rates.

NVOCC Benefits

Since NVOCC’s are able to act as a carrier, they can issue their own House Bills of Lading (HBL). This gives both the NVOCC and their customers the advantage of time-efficiency, leaving one-less step in the process of getting your cargo from its starting point end point. NVOCC’s give you more flexibility with rates. Much of this has to do with the established networks and relationships maintained by NVOCC’s who are often able to get fixed, or low rates on batches of shipments. Utilizing an NVOCC for this purpose can reduce your costs. In addition to this, since an NVOCC operates with both the benefits of a freight forwarder and a carrier, your cargo can get from its origin to destination without the interruptions caused by working with another carrier.


All things considered, NVOCC’s go through a lot of work to obtain their licensing and status in the international transportation industry, and working with one can allow you to reap many benefits. Fast shipping, cheaper rates, quick communication, and customizability of shipping options are few amongst many reasons why you would benefit by picking up the phone today and calling an NVOCC like Interlog USA, Inc.


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