5 Frequently Asked Questions About Freight Forwarders, NVOCC’s & Customs Brokers

The world of global logistics can be notoriously difficult to navigate. In this blog post, we answer 5 FAQs about Freight Forwarders, NVOCC’s, Customs, and what we do to make your shipping easier.

What is a Freight Forwarder?

Simple answer: A Freight Forwarder is a company that’s responsible for transporting goods from one destination to another.

Complex answer: A Freight Forwarder specializes in handling movement of cargo (domestic or international) on behalf of a shipper or consignee (customer). A partial list of what Freight Forwarders do includes:

      • Serving as the mediator between the shipper, consignee, and shipping lines/airlines/carriers
      • Recording and presenting documentation which includes (but is not limited to): master and house bills of lading, arrival notices, and commercial documents
      • Organizing, planning, and scheduling the shipping plans – whether that be through one mode of transportation or multiple modes
      • Obtaining freight insurance (if necessary)
      • Coordinating warehousing needs such as packing, storing, and distributing goods during any part of the supply chain
      • Facilitating and preparing documents for customs clearance and compliance for international shipments

Freight Forwarder vs. NVOCC: What's the difference?

As mentioned above, a Freight Forwarder is basically a travel agent for cargo – handling paperwork, schedules, and communications. NVOCC’s (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers) are slightly different. These entities perform all the services of a cargo carrier but do not operate their own vessels, instead purchasing significant space on existing vessels that they then offer to customers. NVOCC’s also have more financial responsibilities like high bond and insurance requirements, and they issue their own bill of lading to shippers. As an NVOCC and Customs Broker, Falcone Global Solutions is licensed, bonded, and insured to negotiate rates and service contracts directly with steamship lines which provides a significant price and service advantage.

What is a Customs Broker?

A Customs Broker is a private individual, partnership, association or corporation licensed, regulated, and empowered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assist importers and exporters in meeting federal requirements governing imports and exports. Customs Brokers ensure that all shipments are compliant with any rules, regulations, tariffs, duties, or other mandates from CBP so that goods are not delayed or held at port.

Our in-house Licensed Customs Brokers at Premio International Services have been serving the Customs Brokerage needs of thousands of importers (and Forwarders) and have held a National Permit and Remote Location Filing (RLF) for over 25 years. We can handle everything from customs compliance, ISF 10 + 2 filing and tariffs to drawbacks, ATA Carnets and more.

What is the best method for shipping my goods?

This answer depends on many factors that differ from customer to customer. Some of the considerations that determine which mode of transportation to ship with include:

      • Origin and destination of shipment
      • Size of shipment (mass and volume)
      • Schedule, transit time, and delivery date requirements 
      • Financial considerations
      • And more

As a general rule, ocean freight takes longer but is more affordable, air freight is quicker but much more expensive, and ground freight is a balance of the two – but is less functional over very long distances.

What are the benefits of a full-service NVOCC and Customs Broker?

Full-service NVOCC’s and Customs Brokers integrate the main roles of each service into one system, allowing for all aspects of the logistics process to be handled by the same team. Rather than having to communicate with other providers who use different systems or may be on different schedules, full-service firms like Falcone Capital Holdings perform all of these services internally, which enables efficiency and scalability as well as improved communication with customers.

Why choose Falcone Capital Holdings and its wholly-owned subsidiaries?

Falcone Capital Holdings and its wholly-owned subsidiaries offer the highest levels of communication and visibility through the entire shipping process. Our ERP system, FalcTrak 3.0s, provides shippers end-to-end visibility of a shipment throughout its lifecycle, as well as real-time updates on such items as foreign factory loading status by PO/SKU level, GPS Container/Shipment coordinates, landed costs, status of customs clearance and release, delivery to final destination, and much more. Our technology enables greater efficiency, real-time communication, and shipment integrity across all modes of transportation.

Each one of our customers also receives a dedicated Logistics Analyst and Account Manager who handles their entire shipping process from start to finish, offering fully customized solutions based on their needs. We have a strong commitment to long-term relationships with all of our customers, no matter their shipping volume, and we always adhere to the Five Rights of Procurement

Across our 3 wholly-owned subsidiaries – Falcone Global Solutions, Falcone Specialized Carriers, and Premio International Services, you are guaranteed to receive unmatched service and peace of mind that your shipping and customs needs are always met.

Falcone Capital Holdings and its wholly-owned subsidiaries are headquartered in Atlanta with operations around the globe and have been recognized as industry leaders through dozens of awards. If you’re looking for a new world-class logistics provider, NVOCC and Customs Broker or have any further questions, contact us today for a quote or more information.