Top 10 Freight Forwarders in the USA [+NVOCCs] in 2024

freight brokers air cargo container transportation ocean freight freight brokerage air freight international freight sea freight shipping shipping company

Embarking on a Global Logistics Adventure? Welcome to the world of Freight Forwarding and NVOCCs, the unsung heroes of international trade.

In this guide, we’re diving deep into the world of freight forwarding and NVOCC operations in the USA. 

Whether you’re a seasoned shipper or just starting out, understanding the pivotal role of these entities in global commerce is key.

Are you looking for a reliable partner to navigate the complex logistics landscape? 

Maybe you’re curious about how freight forwarders differ from NVOCCs? Or perhaps you’re on a quest to discover the top players in this field?  

Not sure where to start? We’re here to help you out.

We’re about to unfold the list of the top 10 freight forwarders in the USA.

Why is this important for your business? 

In an era where global trade barriers are diminishing, aligning with the right freight forwarding or NVOCC partner can be the difference between success and setbacks. 

Let’s embark on this journey together, exploring the best the USA has to offer in freight forwarding and NVOCC services.

Stay tuned as we unveil the crucial factors that put these top 10 players ahead of the pack, and guide you through selecting the perfect logistics partner for your business needs.

Understanding Freight Forwarding and NVOCCs

logistics shipping supply chain cargo process air cargo international export ocean nvocc sea freight

Both freight forwarders and NVOCCs are integral to the logistics and supply chain industry. Freight forwarders offer a broader range of services and can handle more diverse logistical challenges, while NVOCCs specialize in the transportation of goods, particularly beneficial for LCL shipments. Understanding their roles and differences is crucial for businesses looking to navigate the complex landscape of international shipping.

 The Role of Freight Forwarders

Freight-Forwarders logistics shipping supply chain cargo process air cargo international export ocean nvocc sea freight

Freight forwarders are key players in the global supply chain, acting as intermediaries between shippers and transportation services. Their role encompasses several critical functions:

  • Logistics Coordination: They manage the logistics of transporting goods from the point of origin to the final destination. This includes selecting and negotiating with carriers, arranging transportation schedules, and handling route planning.
  • Customs and Documentation: Forwarders are experts in navigating the complex world of customs regulations. They ensure all necessary documentation for international shipping is complete and compliant, thus avoiding costly delays.
  • Risk Management and Insurance: They often provide advice on insurance options and help manage risks associated with transporting goods internationally.
  • Value-Added Services: Many forwarders also offer additional services like warehousing, cargo tracking, and freight consolidation, providing a comprehensive logistics solution.

A good freight forwarder ensures that your cargo reaches its destination on time and in excellent condition. They’re also determined to get you the best deal for your budget. 

This is why it’s important to work with only the best freight forwarder, so that you get quality service every time you need to ship goods. 

What are NVOCCs and How Do They Differ? 

Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) share similarities with freight forwarders but with some distinct differences:

  • Carrier Status: Unlike freight forwarders, NVOCCs act as virtual carriers. They issue their own bills of lading or equivalent documents, assuming responsibility for the shipment despite not owning the means of transportation.
  • Space Booking: NVOCCs often book space in bulk on cargo ships, and then sell space to shippers in smaller quantities. They provide a crucial service for businesses that don’t require full container loads.
  • Consolidation Expertise: NVOCCs are adept at consolidating multiple smaller shipments into one larger shipment (Less than Container Load, or LCL), making it more cost-effective for shippers.
  • Direct Contracting: While freight forwarders typically act as agents for the shipper, NVOCCs enter into direct contracts with the shipping lines. This can sometimes result in more competitive rates due to their bulk buying. 

Criteria for Ranking: How We Evaluated

Our evaluation is based on diverse factors such as range of services, customer feedback, industry presence, and innovation in logistics solutions.

Top 10 Freight Forwarders in the USA

Freight Forwarders logistics shipping cargo air cargo international export ocean nvocc sea freight USA Canada

Expeditors International of Washington

Known for: Comprehensive global logistics services, strong network, and technology-driven solutions.

C.H. Robinson

Known for: Extensive carrier relationships and diverse service offerings.

Kuehne + Nagel International AG

Known for: Global reach and expertise in various sectors including pharmaceutical logistics.

DHL Global Forwarding

Known for: Leading position in air and ocean freight, with a focus on environmental sustainability.

DB Schenker

Known for: Integrated logistics services and strong emphasis on digital innovation.

NFI Industries

Known for: Customized supply chain solutions and a customer-centric approach.

Bolloré Logistics

Known for: Extensive African network and expertise in complex logistical challenges.

Africa United Logistics

Known for: Specializing in shipping services from the US and Canada to various African countries, especially Shipping to South Africa from Canada, shipping to Algeria From US/Canada, Shipping to Cameroon from Canada/US, offering tailored solutions that cater to the unique demands of African markets.


Known for: Utilizing advanced technology to streamline supply chain and logistics processes.

Panalpina (now part of DSV)

Known for: Strong air and ocean freight services and a wide range of value-added services.

Exploring the Top NVOCCs in the USA

In addition to freight forwarders, NVOCCs like Africa United Logistics play a pivotal role, especially in niche markets such as Africa, where they provide specialized and region-specific logistics solutions.

Choosing the Right Freight Forwarder or NVOCC

By considering these below factors and following these tips, businesses can select a freight forwarder or NVOCC that not only meets their logistical needs but also aligns with their operational ethos, ensuring a smooth and successful international shipping experience.

Specialization and Expertise:

Evaluate whether the freight forwarder or NVOCC specializes in the type of goods you’re shipping or the specific regions you’re targeting. For instance, Africa United Logistics offers specialized services for shipments to African countries.

Network and Global Reach:

Assess the extent of the company’s global network. A broader network suggests better handling of international logistics complexities.

Services Offered:

Look for a range of services such as warehousing, distribution, and customs brokerage. This can simplify logistics by having a single provider handle multiple aspects of the shipping process.

Technology and Tracking:

In today’s digital age, having access to real-time tracking and technologically advanced logistics solutions is essential.

Customer Service and Support:

Reliable customer service is crucial, especially when dealing with international shipping uncertainties.

Compliance and Reliability:

Ensure that the freight forwarder or NVOCC complies with international shipping regulations and has a track record of reliability and efficiency.

Cost and Pricing Structure:

Understand the pricing structure, including any hidden costs or fees. Opt for a balance between cost and the quality of service provided.

Tips for Making an Informed Decision

Conduct Thorough Research: Start with online research, read reviews, and seek recommendations from industry peers.

Compare Multiple Providers: Don’t settle for the first option. Compare services, prices, and reputations of various freight forwarders and NVOCCs.

Check References and Track Record: Request references and case studies. A company’s history can give you insights into their expertise and reliability.

Schedule Consultations: Engage with potential service providers. This can help gauge their responsiveness and willingness to understand your specific needs.

Review Contracts Carefully: Before finalizing a partnership, thoroughly review the contract terms to ensure they align with your expectations and requirements.

Ask About Contingency Plans: Inquire about their process for handling unforeseen circumstances or delays. This will provide an understanding of their problem-solving capabilities.

Prioritize Transparency: Choose a partner that values transparency in communication, pricing, and operations.

The Future of Freight Forwarding and NVOCCs in USA

Industry trends suggest a move towards digitalization, sustainability, and customized logistics solutions, highlighting the need for forwarders and NVOCCs to innovate continually.

International Freight Forwarding FAQs

Q: What differentiates a freight forwarder from an NVOCC?

A: The main difference lies in the level of involvement in the actual transportation of goods, with NVOCCs often playing a more direct role.

Q: How important is technology in selecting a freight forwarder or NVOCC?

A: Technology is increasingly crucial for efficient logistics management, tracking, and customer service.

Conclusion – Top Shipping Logistics Companies in United States

The freight forwarding and NVOCC landscape in the USA is dynamic and diverse. Whether you’re looking for comprehensive global services or specialized regional expertise, like that offered by Africa United Logistics, this guide provides a starting point for finding the right logistics partner. 

Why Choose AfricaUnitedLogistics?

  • Expertise in African Markets: Our deep understanding of diverse African markets ensures your products meet local demands and comply with regional regulations.
  • Customized Shipping Solutions: Tailored services to fit your business model, whether you’re shipping small parcels or large freight.
  • Cost-Effective Rates: Competitive pricing to maximize your profits while maintaining high-quality service.
  • Real-Time Tracking: Stay updated with the status of your shipments, providing peace of mind and enabling better planning.

Take the First Step Towards Global Expansion 

Contact us today for a personalized quote or check out our special offers to get started!

Always consult with shipping providers and customs authorities to ensure compliance with regulations and a smooth shipping experience.

📞 Talk to Our Experts Today! Get personalized advice and a free quote tailored to your shipping needs. Call us at +1-888-238-6587 or email us at

📝 Request a Quote Fill out our online form to get a quick and accurate quote for your shipping needs. Request a Quote Now

Feel free to contact us on social media &

Why Shoud You Choose
Africa Logistics Group?

Fully Licensed International Freight Forwarder

We are a fully licensed IATA & NVOCC support global logistics and international freight forwarder servicing North America and Africa.

The Most Hassle-Free Shipping Experience Possible

Our global partners and supply chain allow us the ability to offer our clients the most hassle-free shipping experience possible.

Your Shipment Will Reach Its Destination On Time, Every Time

Our real-time tracking technology and constant innovation have finally made it possible to be assured that your shipment, no matter how large or small, will reach its destination on time, every time.

Innovative Solutions For Multimodal Transportation

We offer innovative, bespoke freight shipping solutions for multimodal transportation in Europe, Asia, The Middle East, and Australia.

A Single
Point Of Contact

Our team can accommodate any number of trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes to ship your freight through our many valued partnerships

The Most Reliable Freight Shipping Services

Our multimodal transport offers delivery times and proficient shipment tracking, making us the most reliable and hassle-free freight shipping company servicing Africa, Europe, Asia, The Middle East, and Australia today.