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Information for Truckers On Claims Against NVOCC Bonds

Trucking is a critical part of how container cargoes transported by ocean move between inland points and marine ports. The terms of the bill of lading dictate what options truckers might have in seeking unpaid freight charges. In some instances, truckers might be able to make a claim against a financial instrument (bond, insurance, letter of credit, or guaranty) maintained by Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (NVOCC).

Confirming if a company is an NVOCC licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission can be done by checking a list maintained by the FMC.

Under FMC regulations, each licensed NVOCC has on file a bond or other financial instrument that provides protection for transportation-related claims by third parties—such as truckers.

If an NVOCC refuses to pay a legitimate claim for inland transportation services when the cargo is moved under a “through bill of lading”, commonly referred to as a “door move”, truckers might be able to make a claim to the surety company or financial company that backs the bond requirement.

It is important to understand that dealing with an NVOCC engaged in ocean transportation does not automatically ensure a trucker is moving cargo under the jurisdiction of the FMC. By securing a copy of the House Bill of Lading, a trucker might confirm the terms and conditions of the move, including that the cargo is part of a through-ocean move.

Even if cargo is hauled as part of an international ocean through-move, eligibility for payment will also depend on the specific terms of the financial instrument.

In the event of non-payment, check the list of NVOCCs found on the Commission website. Send an email to oti@fmc.gov or phone (202) 523-5843, identifying the NVOCC by full corporate name and Organization number, and request information on where to submit a claim. Contact the surety company by phone or email with your claim.