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Shipper

The person or company that ships the cargo to the consignee.

BCO Ė Beneficial Cargo Owner

Can be a shipper and/or consign.

Agent

An individual or legal entity authorized to act on behalf of another individual or legal entity (the principal). An agentís authorized actions will bind the principal.

A sales representative, for example, is an agent of the seller. Today, we have Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTI) (aka NVOCCs) and Freight Forwarders and Customs House Brokers

Agency

A relationship between an individual or legal entity (the agent), who represents, acts on behalf of, and binds another individual or legal entity (the principal) in accordance with the principalís request or instruction.

In some countries, agency is more narrowly defined as a relationship created only by a written agreement or power of attorney, entered into by a principal and a person who is designated to act for the principal with the limits of the written document creating the agency.

Carrier

An individual or legal entity that is in the business of transporting passengers or goods for hire. Shipping lines, airlines, trucking companies and railroad companies are all carriers.
  • A common carrier is one that by law must convey passengers or goods without refusal, provided the party requesting conveyance has paid the charge for transport.
  • A private or contract carrier is one that transports only those persons or goods that it selects

By U.S. Government regulation a common carrier publishes stated rates for carriage and must accept any passengers or goods for transport so long as space is available and the published rates is paid.

Consignee

The person or firm named in a freight contract to whom goods have been shipped or turned over for care.
Documents

Bill of Lading - BOL

The starting point document for shippment of products.