Beneficial Cargo Owner (BCO)

Logistics Term

Beneficial Cargo Owner (BCO) Definition

A beneficial cargo owner, abbreviated as BCO, is also called the importer on record. It describes an importer who takes physical charge of a shipment upon arrival at the destination since they assume various property rights even when the legal title isn't theirs. As a result, they dismiss a third party's employment in the commodities' movements. Beneficial cargo owners are most common when discussing ocean and rail freight to refer to the owner of the goods under shipping when the title of discussing the cargo is under another party's jurisdiction.

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The BCO classifies ocean freight through two primary channels: direct and indirect.

A direct channel is applicable among large companies referred to as large shippers. It's a mechanism that employs direct negotiations with the carrier. The concept around it requires immediate communication with their carriers since the vast volumes of goods under their shipping schedule and broad international coverage give them bargaining power. On the other hand, indirect channels are mainly employed by small to medium-sized beneficial cargo owners. They are disadvantaged regarding bargaining power for service guarantees such as lower rates. However, it's economical as it dismisses the need for internal logistics teams.

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