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NVOCC is a type of logistics company that helps small scale importers and exporters ship their goods via sea. They have tie ups with different large shippers and help companies with shipping needs export/import their products.


What is NVOCC?

NVOCC stands for non-vessel operating common carrier. This carrier company acts as intermediary between businesses and large shipping companies that operate their own shipping vessels.

As NVOCC full form suggests, the carrier does not own their own vessel. Instead, it rents space in containers from large shippers or freight forwarders and sells it to companies that don’t need an entire container for its shipment. (Also read: Steps to start your freight forward business)

NVOCC is similar to a company offering PTL or LTL services. The carrier company rents out portions of the total space available to companies according to their space requirements. This makes shipping cost effective for companies.

NVOCC meaning – A logistics carrier company that rents or leases space in containers belonging to large ocean freight forwarders and then rents these spaces to small businesses.

Functions of NVOCC

Given below are the functions performed by common carriers:

  • Transports cargo that is to be shipped by the customer to the ports
  • Warehouse storage and transporting of products being shipped
  • Cargo handling including loading and unloading at the port
  • Consultation and preparation of shipping documents like the shipping bill
  • Negotiation of contract and shipping related tariffs with the shipping company that owns the vessel for transport
  • Issue Bill of Lading or House Bill of Lading (describes the cargo and serves as a contract to transport those goods safely between two specified locations) to the shipper.

Why is NVOCC important for MSMEs?

NVOCCs offer several advantages for small and medium sized businesses that are import export businesses:

  • Access to global shipping network

NVOCCs have a vast and well-developed network with trade unions, ports and different transportation services in international markets. This helps these carriers connect businesses with the right transportation solution for their requirements. This means that you will have expert help to deal with logistics rules and taxes and other formalities.

  • Error free shipping documents

As you all probably know, shipping documents are to be prepared with utmost care. A minor mistake in any of your shipping documents can lead to your shipment getting stuck at a port, leading to losses for your company. NVOCCs are well aware of the documentation process and can assist you in preparing error-free shipping documents for faster processing.

Also read: What is warehouse logistics? Meaning, role, future trends in India

  • Minimal risk to shipped products

As mentioned before, NVOCCs sign legal contracts with ocean carriers to provide freight business to small companies. This means that they create their own tariff and charge you for the space on the shipping lines.

When there are changes in market conditions or changes in the global trading policies, there are high chances of a spike in shipping costs. NVOCC absorbs this cost to offer their clients the flexibility to respond to business fluctuations.

NVOCC companies in India

Have a look at a few companies that provide NVOCC services in India:

  • Seaport Lines India
  • Traket Multiventures Private Limited
  • Altitude Global Logistic Private Limited
  • Mani Exim Solutions
  • Seven Seas Services
  • TSV Warehousing & SCM Private Limited
  • Total Transport Systems Ltd
  • Sea-Wings Logistics Private Limited
  • Cargomen Logistics India Private Limited
  • Nautical Cargo Private Limited
  • Ceonemar Logistics Private Limited
  • Multi Marine Shipping and Logistic Private Limited
  • M S A Shipping Private Limited

How to choose an NVOCC for your business?

Make sure that you choose an NVOCC whose portfolio includes a full range of freight forwarding services. Look for these features in the common carrier that you choose:

  • Issues bill of lading
  • Arrange for reliable and safe ground transportation
  • Provide personalised services and caters to your shipping needs
  • Wide network of shipping companies in its portfolio of partnerships
  • Reasonable prices
  • Guaranteed safe shipping across borders with a promise for recovery of damages

NVOCCs is the perfect solution for MSMEs who don’t want to deal with the nitty gritty of international trade policies, taxes, shipping documents, etc. These entities have personalised solutions for all your shipping needs which promotes faster documents processing and shipments. Having the right NVOCC partner can help you get your cargo in and out seamlessly.

Also read: Shipping Corporation of India: Overview, history, and how to track


Priyanka Babu

Priyanka is a seasoned content marketing professional with 6 years of experience crafting various forms of business and technology sector content. Her insightful writing tackles critical issues faced by small-scale manufacturing businesses. Swati’s clear and concise communication empowers businesses to make informed decisions and thrive in today’s dynamic business environment.