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NRAs are generally considered best for short-term or single shipment rates because surcharges are locked-in upon receipt of the first shipment.
Unlike NSAs or tariff rates, surcharges contained in NRAs do not float with your tariff rules. This means that surcharges in effect in your tariff rules at the time the first shipment is received will apply to all shipments moving under the NRA. FMC regulations require an NRA Amendment to reflect updated surcharges, even if the surcharges are filed in your tariff rules.
Many NVOCCs that use NRAs simply include surcharge amounts in the NRA itself and note those that will be invoiced to the shipper customer as pass-through charges. Pass-through charges are allowed under FMC regulations for NRAs, but not for tariff rates. So long as the NRA or NVOCC’s tariff rules includes the names of the charges to be passed-through, NVOCCs may pass on charges invoiced from the Ocean Carrier (e.g., detention & demurrage) or Terminal Operator (e.g., Pier Pass) to their shipper customer with no markup.
For more information about DPI’s NRA services, click here.