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 Zepol’s TradeIQ™
, for the first half of 2012, approximately 57% of all vessel imports, in terms of shipments, were imported by a BCO. In 2003, this figure was about 80%. The graph below illustrates this trend for the past nine years, showing the percent of imports by Beneficial Cargo Owners slowly declining. This trend also indicates that more importers are utilizing third party sources to bring their goods safely into the United States.
*Data from January through June, 2012