Shipping terminologies for your guidance

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The material used for caulking hulls, often containing hemp picked from old untwisted ropes.


Ocean and rail
(O. & R.)

Ocean and rail


Ocean Bill of Lading
(Ocean BL)

A document indicating that the exporter will consign a shipment to an international carrier for transportation to a specified foreign market and indicates the terms of the contract of carriage. The ocean B/L serves as a collection document. If it is a straight B/L, the foreign buyer can obtain the shipment from the carrier by simply showing proof of identity. If it is a negotiable B/L, the buyer must first pay for the goods, post a bond, surrender the original B/L or meet other conditions agreeable to the seller.

An 'OBL' is not an Ocean B/L, but an Original B/L.



An ocean (from Greek ???????, Okeanos (Oceanus)) is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface, an area of some 361 million square kilometers (139.5 million square miles), is covered by ocean; a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.

Pacific Ocean

Atlantic Ocean

Indian Ocean

Southern Ocean, sometimes subsumed as the southern portions of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans

Arctic Ocean, sometimes considered a sea of the Atlantic


Office of first entry

This is the customs office at the first point of entry into the customs territory of the Community where ENS must be submitted.


Office of subsequent entry.

When the Office of First Entry (OoFe) decides to transfer the risk to another Member State's customs.


Oilskins or oilies

Foul-weather clothing worn by sailors.


On Board

Cargo that has been loaded on board a combined transport mode of conveyance. Used to satisfy the requirements of a letter of credit, in the absence of an express requirement to the country.



Inland freight movement on the importer's side.


One Stop Shop

An organisation, which provides all needed requirements in one location.


Open Account

A trade arrangement in which goods are shipped to a foreign buyer without guarantee of payment.


Open Insurance Policy

A marine insurance policy that applies to all shipments made by an exporter over a period of time rather than to one shipment only.


Open Policy

A cargo insurance policy that is an open contract; i.e., it provides protection for all an exporter's shipments afloat or in transit within a specified geographical trade area for an unlimited period of time, until the policy is cancelled by the insured or by the insurance company. It is 'open' because the goods that are shipped are also detailed at that time. This is usually shown in a document called a marine insurance certificate.


Open Registry

A term used in place of 'flag of convenience' or 'flag of necessity' to denote registry in a country which offers favourable tax, regulatory, and other incentives to ship owners from other nations.


Open Sea

The water area of the open coast seaward of the ordinary low-water mark, or seaward of inland waters.


Open Sided Container

A container with frames with wire-mesh at the sides covered by means of a tarpaulin, which can be dropped down to give unrestricted access to the sides of the container for loading or discharging.


Open Top

A container fitted with a solid removable roof or with a tarpaulin roof that can be loaded or unloaded from the top.


Optimum Cube

The highest level of cube utilisation that can be achieved when loading cargo into a container.


Optional Cargo

Cargo of which the final destination is not known at the moment of booking, but will be indicated during its transport.


Optional Port

A port of which it is not known whether or not a vessel during will make a call during a voyage.


Order notify or own name

Order notify or own name


Order of

Order of



A bill of lading term to provide surrender of the original bill of lading before freight is released; usually associated with a shipment covered under a letter of credit.



North American Great Lakes term for a vessel primarily used in the transport of iron ore.


Organisation of economic cooperation and development

Headquartered in Paris with membership consisting of the World's Developed Nations.


Orient Overseas Container Line

A Hong Kong-based container shipping and logistics service company.

It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Orient Overseas (International) Limited (OOIL). OOCL was founded by C. Y. Tung In 1947 as the Orient Overseas Line. It changed its name to Orient Overseas Container Line in 1969, when it began the process of containerisation.

In the past, all important or large ships of the OOCL had names that began with the word 'Seawise', which was a pun on C. Y. Tung's initials.



A location where shipment begins its movement at cargo's expense.


Orlop deck

The lowest deck of a ship of the line. The deck covering in the hold.


Out Gate

A transaction or interchange that occurs at the time a container leaves a rail or water terminal.



Towards either the port side or starboard side of a ship.


Outboard motor

A motor mounted externally on the transom of a small boat. The boat may be steered by twisting the whole motor.



The lower part of a sterndrive (qv).



A line used to control the shape of a sail.



Cargo that exceeds the dimensions of standard containers. Overheight cargo can be loaded in open top containers (without the tarpaulin cover). Over-width and over-length cargo must be loaded on flatrack or platform containers. Totally over-dimension cargo can only be loaded as breakbulk.


Out-of-Gauge Cargo

Cargo which exceeds the normal dimensions of a 20' or 40' container, e.g. overlength, overwidth, overheight, or combinations thereof.


Outside diameter

Outside diameter


Outward bound

To leave the safety of a port, heading for the open ocean.


Over, short or damaged
(O.S. & D.)

This is usually discovered at the cargo unloading stage.



To sail downwind directly at another ship, stealing the wind from its sails.



Dangerously steep and breaking seas due to opposing currents and wind in a shallow area, or strong currents over a shallow rocky bottom.



Hauling the buntline ropes over the sails to prevent them from chaffing.



The 'ceiling,' or, essentially, the bottom of the deck above you.


Overheight Cargo

Cargo stowed in an open-top container; projects above the uppermost level of the roof struts.


Overlength Cargo

Cargo exceeding the standard length of an ISO container.



The term for a ship which tacks; meaning to hold its course for too long.



A situation where there are too many ships generally or in a particular trade for the level of available cargoes.



A vessel which has capsized or foundered.


Overwidth Cargo

Cargo exceeding the standard width of an ISO container.



Traditional Royal Navy term for the Captain; a survival from the days when privately-owned ships were often hired for naval service.


Owner Code

Standard Carrier Abbreviation Code identifying an individual common carrier. For more information see SCAC Code.


Owner's risk

Owner's risk


Owner's risk of becoming wet

Owner's risk of becoming wet


Owner's risk of breakage

Owner's risk of breakage


Owner's risk of deteriration
(O.R. Det.)

Owner's risk of deteriration


Owner's risk of fire or freezing

Owner's risk of fire or freezing


Owner's risk of leakage

Owner's risk of leakage