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What are the Advantages of Using a NVOCC?

I started my carrier in a foreign trade company 18 years ago. This was the year I was introduced to commercial documents, bills of lading, insurance, letter of credits, and a variety of other documents. I used to prepare most of the documents except for bills of lading. I used to work with freight forwarders, ocean carriers, and NVOCCs (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers). After five years experience at my first company, I started to work for an NVOCC.

While being a customer of an NVOCC, I transitioned to become the provider of this service on the other side. Long story short, I had the chance of compare using NVOCC services. Below are the advantages of using an NVOCC I learned from my experiences.

1. Competitive Rates

One of my responsibilities was collecting rates from the market including ocean carriers, freight forwarders, and NVOCCs. For the differences between freight forwarders and NVOCCs, please read this article.

In the short term or for a couple of shipments/destinations, using an ocean carrier rate can be seen more cost-effective but for long-term business plans, using NVOCC rates and contracts always keeps you on the safe side. There are multiple reasons for this, and to learn more read this great article by MTS Logistics Executive Vice President M. Can Fidan.

2. Documents

If you are working with an ocean carrier, following your documents is always harder when compared with working with NVOCC. Especially if it’s high season and vessels are full, getting a single Bill of Lading draft on-time can become a nightmare. This is backed by experience.

What is the magic of NVOCCs here? The most important thing is that NVOCCs can prepare their own Bill of Lading, called a House Bill of Lading. This gives you the great advantage of taking your Bill of Lading on-time as you do not need to wait for the ocean carrier. Even more importantly, if you are using freight forwarder services, your packing lists, commercial invoices, and insurance information can be prepared if you agree to a full service package. This will enable you to send your documents on time to your own customers.

3. Customer Service

If you are not a VIP customer with an ocean carrier, this means that you will go through the regular customer service process. Most of the time, it’s not possible to find the same person and you need to explain your issue to each customer service representative a couple of times before you get a solution.

Beyond just getting the service you want, it means spending a significant portion of your already-limited time on getting a solution from customer service or at least reaching out to them. An NVOCC brings you the advantage of dedicated staff for your own business and enables you to always reach someone who cares your shipments on behalf of you.

4. Allocation

If vessels are not full enough, you can get your space at a competitive rate. But if the season is busy and vessels are full, it’s not very important that you have a good rate – now your problem is to find a space on a vessel.

It’s not always an issue of the low/high season. Things change easily and the logistics supply chain is still fragile and affected by unexpected events worldwide. The Covid Pandemic, Suez Canal attacks, Panama Canal drought, low water levels, and the Baltimore bridge collapse are just a few examples of current events which are changing the logistics supply chain’s common dynamics. The difference with NVOCCs really shines in these situations. They work with far more destinations and suppliers than you do, closely monitoring all current conditions to provide you with the best alternatives and solutions.

At MTS Logistics, we are right on the other end of your phone and email with our solution-focused service network, aiming to find solutions tailored to the needs of all our customers, and providing the most suitable alternatives.


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