Brush up on your international shipping vocabulary or find the definition for a specific shipping or customs term.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Term

Description

DS

Operating DifferentialSubsidy. An amount of money the U.S.government paid U.S.shipping companies that qualify for this subsidy. The intent was to help offsetthe higher subsidy. The intent was to help offset the higher cost of operatinga U.S. flag vessel. The ODS program is administered by the U.S. MaritimeAdministration and is being phased out.

O.E.C.D.

Office of Global Maritime Situational Awareness (OGMSA). It isthe United Statesinitiative to establish a world wide maritime information exchange thatencompasses both public and private sector entities with maritime interests.The GMSA supports maritime domain awareness by making maritime relatedinformation available and searchable. Organization of Economic Cooperation and Developmentheadquartered in Pariswith membership consisting of the worlds developed nations.

O.P.I.C.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation an agency of the U.S. government which helps U.S. businesses invest overseas.

On Board

A notation on a bill of lading that cargo has been loaded onboard a vessel. Used to satisfy the requirements of a letter of credit in the absence of an express requirementto the contrary.

On Deck

A notation on a bill of lading that the cargo has been stowed onthe open deck of the ship.

Open Sea

The water area of the open coast seaward of the ordinarylowwater mark or seaward of inland waters.

Open TopContainer

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

OpenAccount

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

OpenInsurance Policy

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

OperatingRatio

A comparison of a carriers operating expense with its net sales.The most general measure of operating efficiency.

OptimumCube

The highest level of cube utilization that can be achieved whenloading cargo into a container.

Order Notify(O/N)

A bill of lading term to provide surrender of the original billof lading before freight is released, usually associated with a shipmentcovered under a letter of credit.

ORFS

Origin Rail FreightStation. Same as CFS at origin except an ORFS is operated by the rail carrierparticipating in the shipment.

Origin

Location where shipment begins its movement.

OriginalBill of Lading (OBL)

A document which requires proper signatures for consummatingcarriage of contract. Must be marked as original by the issuing carrier.

OS&,D

Over Short or DamagedUsually discovered at cargo unloading.

Out Gate

Transaction or interchange that occurs at the time a containerleaves a rail or water terminal.

Overcharge

To charge more than the proper amount according to the publishedrates.

OverheightCargo

Cargo more than eight feet high which thus cannot fit into astandard container.

OverlandCommon Point (OCP)

A term stated on the bills of lading offering lower shippingrates to importers east of the Rockies provided merchandise from the Far East comes in through the West Coast ports. OCP rateswere established by U.S.West Coast steamship companies in conjunction with western railroads so thatcargo originating or destined for the American Midwest and East would becompetitive with all water rates via the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf ports. Appliesto eastern Canada.

OwnerCode (SCAC)

Standard Carrier Abbreviation Code identifying an individualcommon carrier. A three letter carrier code followed by a suffix identifies thecarriers equipment. A suffix of U is a container and C is a chassis.

Prior Notice (PN)

Prior Notice requirements include a set of data elements on food imports thatmust be filed electronically using either the FDA website or Automated BrokerInterface (ABI).