The USA definition of an NVOCC is a Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier,  who performs all services of an ocean carrier except without operating the vessels.  The NVOCC issues its own bill of lading (typically referred to as a House Bill of Lading, hereafter HBL)  that contains virtually the same data fields as the corresponding Master Bill of Lading issued by the vessel operator,  each serving as a contract of carriage,  but for different parties.  The Master Bill  of Lading is a contract issued by the ocean carrier that is between the NVOCC and their agent (at origin or destination), while the HBL is the contract of carriage issued by the NVOCC between the actual shipper and actual consignee.  Licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission,  NVOCC’s buy services from ocean carriers,  and though issuance of their HBL with appropriate rate filings, are able to mark-up freight costs as they resell these services to their clients.  

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