DB Schenker Trade Solutions

NVOCC Bonds & Ocean Freight Forwarder Bonds

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We automatically register your bond with the FMC. We also have experts available to help you register/license your NVOCC/OFF. 

Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTIs) are required to have a bond registered with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) in order to be licensed to operate in the US. OTIs, such as Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) and Ocean Freight Forwarders (OFFs), are legally responsible for the cargo they accept on a shipper’s behalf. OTI bonds (NVOCC bonds and OFF bonds) protect the shippers and carriers that contract with an OTI, should its negligence or unethical behavior result in a loss. The bond also covers fines levied against an OTI, by the FMC, for any Ocean Shipping Reform Act violations.


The FMC has strict requirements for surety bond providers. And unlike an insurance policy, claims paid out against a bond must be reimbursed to the Surety Company. So it’s essential that you get your NVOCC or OFF bond from a reputable Surety that will adequately investigate a claim before issuing payment.


DB Schenker Trade Solutions only deals with FMC-approved A+ providers. Our unmatched buying power means we’ll get you the very best rates. We also provide NVOCC and OFF consulting services — we can help you set up, register and license your NVOCC or OFF. Additionally, we offer a full range of insurance products to make sure your business is fully protected.

The minimum bond amount required by the FMC in order to operate in the US varies depending on the type of OTI (NVOCC vs OFF) and whether a non-US based NVOCC is licensed or not, is as follows*:


  • $50,000 OFF bond: Ocean Freight Forwarders
  • $75,000 NVOCC bond: Licensed NVOCCs (US and non-US based)$150,000 NVOCC bond: Unlicensed NVOCCs (non-US based; all US-based NVOCCs must be licensed).

*Additional riders may be required for OFFs/NVOCCs doing business in China to cover fees and/or fines that the Chinese Government may impose.

The DB Schenker Trade Solutions Advantage:


Ocean Transportation Intermediaries
Federal Maritime Commission
Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers
Ocean Freight Forwarders

Additional Products & Services

NVOCC/OFF Consulting

NVOCC/OFF licensing & documentation requirements can be confusing. We provide the bonds, insurance and consulting you’ll need for your FMC licensing.

NVOCC/OFF Insurance

If you’re setting up or running an NVOCC or OFF, insurance is a must. It’s critical to get the right coverage from a broker that understands your unique business.

Ocean Forwarding Training

Some 90% of world trade is shipped by Ocean Freight; it takes an army of highly skilled Ocean Forwarding professionals to keep it moving.