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non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC)

(shipping) A carrier issuing bills of lading for carriage of goods on vessels which it neither operates nor owns. NVOCCs purchase large blocks of space at discounted rates from shipping lines and resell them in smaller blocks to other shippers at a profit. NVOCCs often consolidate and transport shipments under a single bill of lading.
(U.S.) A “carrier” defined by maritime law offering an international cargo transport service through the use of underlying carriers and under their own rate structure in accordance with tariffs filed with the Federal Maritime Commission in Washington, DC. The rates filed are required only to port-to-port portion. Specific authority for the NVOCC is given in the code of Federal Regulations, Title 46, Chapter IV, Federal Maritime Commission Sub-Part B, entitled “Regulations Affecting Maritime Carriers and Related Activities.” General Order 4, Amendment i, Section 510.2 (d) states:
“The term `non-vessel operating common carrier by water’ means a person who holds himself out by the establishment and maintenance of tariffs, by advertisement, solicitation, or otherwise, to provide transportation for hire by water in interstate commerce as defined in the Act, and in commerce from the United States as defined in paragraph (b) of the section; assumes responsibility or has liability imposed by law for safe transportation of shipments; and arranges in his own name with underlying water carriers for the performance of such transportation whether or not owning or controlling the means by which such transportation is affected.”.

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