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What’s a Beneficial Cargo Owner?

If you’re new to the transportation industry, the words Beneficial Cargo Owner, or BCO, might seem unfamiliar. I recently had to clarify this term with a colleague to fully understand the meaning and importance.

A BCO refers to an importer that takes control of their cargo at the point of entry and does not utilize a third party source like an NVOCC or Freight Forwarder. Typically, BCOs are large companies that import products regularly, thus, they have an in-house department for import procedures.

According to Datamyne, in 2015, approximately 63% of all vessel imports, in terms of TEUs, were imported by a BCO. In 2005, this figure was about 74%. The graph below illustrates this trend for the past 12 years, showing the percent of imports by Beneficial Cargo Owners slowly declining. This trend also indicates that more importers are utilizing third party sources like NVOCCs or Freight Forwarders to bring their goods safely into the United States.

What percentage importers are BCOs vs NVOCCs

*Data January-March 16th 2016

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