Abbreviations & Definitions
By letter: 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 | 0-9
O&R  Ocean and rail 
O&S  Ocean and Air 
o.a.  Over All 
O.O. or OO  Owner’s option 
O/A  Open account or On account of 
O/B  On board 
O/C  Ore Carrier or Open Charter or Overcharge 
O/D  On Deck or Over Deck 
O/N  Order notify 
O/S  On Sale or Out of Stock or Out Standing 
o/w  Outward 
OA  Over Age or Overall 
OAAOOP  On arrival at or of the port 
OABE  Owners agents both ends 
OAFSP  On arrival first sea pilot 
OAGE  Overage 
OAHPS  On arrival harbour pilot station 
OAL  Overall length (same as LOA) 
OAPEC  Organisation of Arabic Petroleum Exporting Countries 
OBO  Ore Bulk Oil Carrier-ship for transporting bulk cargo such as coal and grain, and high-density cargoes such as iron ore, as well as crude petroleum products 
OBO  Oil-Bulk-Ore carriers. These versatile ships can transport cargoes as various as crude oil, grain, coal, and metal ore. They feature simply-shaped holds without exposed hull framework to permit easy cleaning between cargoes of different kinds. Certain OBO's, called PROBO's specialize in carrying oil products (vegetable and mineral) and soft bulk cargo. Efficient participation in the petroleum products trade requires these ships to have epoxy-coated holds. This provision aids thorough removal of a discharged cargo's traces before loading another. Unfortunately, epoxy cannot endure a great deal of physical abuse. So PROBO's cannot carry ore, coal, and other hard bulk cargoes. 
OBQ  On Board Quantity (before loading) 
OCC  Oil Co-ordination Committee or Outward Clearance Certificate or On-Carriage Charges or Occupied 
Occupational exposure  The occupational exposure is a standard term that concerns adult workers in good health, with a possible exposure of 8 hours per day, 5 days a week, 11 months per year. See exposure. 
OCD  Olio Combustibile Denso (Fuel oil) 
Ocean Bill of Lading (Ocean B/L)  A contract for transportation between a shipper and a carrier. It also evidences receipt of the cargo by the carrier. A bill of lading shows ownership of the cargo and, if made negotiable, can be bought, sold or traded while the goods are in–transit. 
Ocean Bill Of Lading
Oc B/L  
A non-negotiable ocean bill of lading allows the buyer to receive the goods upon showing identification. If the bill is deemed negotiable, then the buyer will be required to pay the shipper for the products and meet any of the seller's other conditions. An ocean bill of lading allows the shipper to move goods across international waters. If the goods are to be initially shipped over land, an additional document, known as an "inland bill of lading", will be required. The inland bill only allows the materials to reach the shore, while the ocean bill allows them to be transported overseas. 
OCIMF  Oil Companies International Marine Forum: An oil company consultative organisation, with a secretariat based in London, funded by the oil company members to represent the Oil Industry on marine safety, marine standards and international legislation. OCIM 
OCP  See Overland Common Points. 
Octane  For a gasoline engine to work efficiently, gasoline must burn smoothly without premature detonation, or knocking. Severe knocking can dissipate power output and even cause damage to the engine. When gasoline engines became more powerful in the 1920s, it was discovered that the most extreme knocking effect was produced by a fuel composed of pure normal heptane, while the least knocking effect was produced by pure isooctane. This discovery led to the development of the octane scale for defining gasoline quality. 
Octane  A measure of a motor gasoline's or blendstock's resistance to preignition (knocking). The industry commonly uses two different indexes of this quality RON (research octane number), and MON (motor octane number). The USA employs an average of the two: (R+M)2. 
OD  Outside diameter 
ODM  Oil discharge monitor 
ODPCP  Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plan 
ODS  Operating Differential Subsidy: An amount of money the U.S. government paid U.S. shipping companies that qualify for this subsidy.The intent was to help offset the higher subsidy. The intent was to help ofset the higher cost of operating a U.S.–flag vessel.The ODS program is ad- ministered by the U.S. Maritime Administration and is being phased out. 
OECD  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 
Oedema  Swelling of a tissue due to excess accumulation of tissue fluid 
OEL  Occupational Exposure Limit 
Oestromimetic  A substance which is capable of simulating the biological effects of naturally occurring oestrogenic hormones 
Off-hire  A chartering term indicating the time a chartered vessel is no longer attracting a daily fixture rate. It arises i.e. upon break down of machinery, equipment or when owing to poor performance such as slower speed than prescribed in the voyage charter, the 
Offshore  Segment of industry that deals with exploration and extraction of oil from undersea deposits. 
Offshore Support Vessel  A single or multi functional offshore support vessel  
Offshore Tug/Supply Ship  A vessel for the transportation of stores and goods to offshore platforms on an open stern deck and equipped with a towing facility 
OFG  Offshore Floating Group 
OFG  Offshore Hose Guidelines 
OGSB  One good safe berth 
OH  Off-hire 
OHA  Office of History and Archaeology (ADNR) 
OHBC  Open hatch bulk carrier 
OHSAS 18001  Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series - Provides standards to help a company control occupational health and safety hazards for staff. 
Oil Content  The term refers to the amount of fatty material present in materials of animal and vegetable sources and food products, etc. To measure the oil content of a material it is usually necessary to prepare the sample by drying, grinding or digestion. The oil is then thoroughly extracted with solvent. The extract is filtered, the solvent removed and the oil is weighed. 
Oil Storage Barge, non propelled  A non propelled storage barge for dry cargoes 
Oil Tanker, Inland Waterways  A tanker for the bulk carriage of refined petroleum products, either clean or dirty, which is not suitable for trading in open waters 
Oils (and Fats)  Oils and fats are synonymous. However, the difference between them is that the former are liquid at ambient temperatures, while the latter are solid in appearance. Since ambient temperatures vary so much, a rigorous definition is not possible but, conventionally, a temperature of 20°C is often used as reference. Generally, the oils contain a higher proportion of unsaturated fatty acids in their composition than the fats. 
Oilseed Hulls  The outer covering of oilseeds. 
Oilseed Meals  The product obtained by grinding the cake, chips or flakes which remain after removal of most of the oil from oilseeds. Oilseed meals are mainly a feedstuff for livestock and poultry. Some meals are also used as a raw material for producing edible vegetable protein products. 
Oilseed Processing  The procedure involved in removing oil from oilseeds. There are three basic types of processes - solvent extraction, mechanical processing and hydraulic pressing. 
Olean (Olestra)  A sucrose fatty acid polyester used as a substitute for dietary fat which is not digested or absorbed by the body. 
Oleate  An ester or salt of oleic acid. Commonly referenced as a preparation containing oleic acid as the principal ingredient. 
Olefin  Olefins are aliphatic hydrocarbons with one or more double bonds along the chain. The lower olefins have short chains with only two, three or four carbons, and the simplest one is ethylene. The higher olefins have chains of up to 20 or more carbon atoms, and generally have the double bond between the first two carbons of the chain. These are termed the alpha olefins. 
Olefin  A straight or branched-chain hydrocarbon with at least one unsaturated carbon-carbon bond. The petrochemical industry's highest volume product, ethylene, belongs to this family of molecules. Cracking processes produce such molecules in considerable quantity. The "O" in PONA stands for olefins. 
Olefins  Olefins are petrochemical derivatives produced by cracking feedstocks from raw materials such as natural gas and crude oil. Lower olefins have short chains with only two, three or four carbon atoms, and the simplest one is ethylene. The higher olefins have chains of up to twenty or more carbon atoms. The main olefin products are ethylene, propylene, butadiene and C4 derivatives. They are used to produce plastics, as chemical intermediates, and, in some cases, as industrial solvents. 
Oleic Acid  This monounsaturated acid is the most widely distributed of all fatty acids, found in practically every vegetable oil and animal fat. Rich sources are olive and peanut oils and palm olein. Oleic acid contains 18 carbon atoms and one double bond in the cis configuration. The classic route for making oleic acid and pressedtype stearic acids is to separate mixed fatty acids by crystallisation from either an organic solvent or a surfactant/water solution. 
Olein  The triglyceride ester of oleic acid but in the palm oil industry it usually refers to the liquid fraction of the oil 
Olein/Palm Olein  This is the liquid, more unsaturated fraction separated from palm oil after crystallisation at a controlled temperature. The olein contains the lower melting point, more liquid triglycerides allowing it to be used for some applications for which the parent oil may not be suitable. 
Oleochemicals  Oleochemicals are chemicals derived from biological fats or oils and are analogous to petrochemicals, which are chemicals derived from biological fats or oils and are analogous to petrochemicals, which are chemicals derived from petroleum. The hydrolysis of the triglycerides composing oils and fats produces fatty acids and glycerol. If oils or fats are made to react with an alcohol instead of with water, the process is alcoholysis and the products are fatty acid esters and glycerol. Other important oleochemicals include fatty alcohols, methyl or other esters, amides and amines, dimer acids and dibasic acids. 
Olive Oil  Olive oil is obtained from the flesh of the fruit of the olive tree (""Olea Europaea Sativa""). The cultivation of olives in the countries of the Mediterranean basin goes back several thousand years and it remains today a highly prized edible oil used in the unrefined state. It has a strong characteristic flavour and a yellow green colour. Olive oil and palm oil are the only fruit flesh oils in international trade. All other vegetable oils are seed oils. 
OMC  Offshore Marine Committee 
OMOG  Offshore Maritime Operations Group 
On Board  A notation on a bill of lading that cargo has been loaded on board a vessel. Used to satisfy the requirements of a letter of credit, in the absence of an express requirement to the contrary. 
On Deck  A notation on a bill of lading that the cargo has been stowed on the open deck of the ship. 
ONW  Onwards 
OO  Oil/Ore (or Ore/Oil) Carrier or Order Of or Ocean/Ocean (movement) 
OO  Owner's option 
OOC  Ore oil carrier 
OOW  Officer of the Watch 
OP  Open Policy or Operator or Option 
OPA  Oil Pollution Act; Owners Protecting Agent 
OPA 90  The United States Oil Pollution Act 1990: The U.S. Federal Regulations concerning Oil Pollution Protection in US waters and off-shore economic exclusion areas. Requirements of the Act are contained in 33 CFR and 46 CFR . 
OPEC  Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Includes Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Venezuela. 
Open Account  A trade arrangement in which goods are shipped to a foreign buyer without guarantee of payment. 
Open Bulk Cargo Barge, non propelled  A non propelled open barge for the carriage of bulk cargoes 
Open Hatch Cargo Ship  A large single deck cargo vessel with full width hatches and boxed holds for the carriage of unitised dry cargo such as forest products and containers. Many are fitted with a gantry crane 
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 Sea  The water area of the open coast seaward of the ordinary low-water mark, or seaward of inland wa- ters. 
Open spec  A description of the substance sold in certain petroleum products transactions. Buyer and seller agree to price, delivery range and other particulars, but only to general specifications for the material. The seller covers the deal with any availability falling within the limits accepted by the trade. 
Open Top Container  A container fitted with a solid removable roof, or with a tarpaulin roof so the container can be loaded or unloaded from the top. 
Operating Ratio  A comparison of a carrier’s operating expense with its net sales. The most general measure of operating efficiency. 
Operational tolerance  Flexibility in the quantity of a stem, usually expressed as a small percentage of the stern's nominal size. This provision makes it easier to find suitable ships to lift crude and products. 
OPIC  Overseas Private Investment Corporation, an agency of the U.S. government which helps U.S. busi- nesses invest overseas. 
OPL  Outside Port Limits 
OPRC  Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation 
OPT  Option 
Optimum Cube  The highest level of cube utilization that can be achieved when loading cargo into a container. 
OR  Owner's risk 
ORB  Owner's risk of breakage 
ORC  Owner's risk of chafing 
ORD  Owner's risk of damage 
Order–Notify (O/N)  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. 
ORDET  Owner's risk of detoriation 
Ore Carrier  A single deck cargo ship fitted with two longitudinal bulkheads. Ore is carried in the centreline holds only 
Ore/Bulk/Products Carrier  A bulk carrier arranged for the alternative (but not simultaneous) carriage of oil products 
Ore/Oil Carrier  An ore carrier arranged for the alternative (but not simultaneous) carriage of crude oil 
Ore/oil carrier  Ship with separate cargo holds for ore cargoes. When the ship is carrying oil, the ore holds may also be filled with oil, in order to utilize the deadweight capacity to the fullest 
ORF  Owner's risk of fire/freezing 
ORFS  Origin Rail Freight Station: Same as CFS at origin except an ORFS is operated by the rail carrier participating in the shipment. 
Organic  Based on a carbon structure but also containing other elements eg hydrogen, oxygen 
Organic chemicals  Organic chemicals are based on carbon compounds and form the backbone of the petrochemicals industry, while inorganic chemicals are non-carbon chemicals, such as chlorine, alkalis or hydrogen peroxide. Every chemical is either organic or inorganic. 
Organoleptic Test  Refers to the careful tasting and odour assessment procedures carried out by experienced personnel. An important test on all fully refined oils which should be bland in odour and taste. Both the senses are involved in organoleptic testing when freshly produced. 
Origin  Location where shipment begins its movement. 
Original Bill of Lading (OBL)  A document which requires proper signatures for consummating carriage of contract. Must be marked as “original” by the issuing carrier. 
ORL  Owner's risk of leakage 
ORS  Owner's risk of shifting 
Orthoxylene  Orthoxylene is an isomer of mixed xylene. It is primarily used in plasticizers (primarily in flexible polyvinyl chloride - PVC - material), medicines and dyes. 
ORW  Owner's risk of becoming wet 
OS&D  Over short and damage 
OSB  One safe berth 
OSC  Olefin Steering Committee (a sub-group of LOSG). LOSG is a sector group of the Association of Petrochemicals Producers in Europe (APPE). For more information, click here. 
OSD  Open shelterdecker 
OSD/CSD  Open shelter deck or closed shelter deck (vessel) 
OSH  Open Shelter Deck 
OSIC  On-Scene Incident Commander 
OSP  One safe port 
OSP  Official selling price. See posted price. 
OSPA  Oxygenated Solvent Producers Association, a sector group of the Association of Petrochemicals Producers in Europe (APPE). For more information, click here. 
OSPB  One safe port or berth 
OSRO  Oil Spill Removal Organization 
OSS  On Scene Security 
OST  Ore Sea Transport or Ordinary spring tides 
OSV  Offshore supply vessel 
OT  Overtime or On truck or railway or Open top (container) 
OTF  Offshore Terminal Forum 
Other Activities, Inland Waterways  A vessel used for an undefined activity. Not designed for operation in open sea 
Ototoxic  Capable of causing injury to the inner ear and/or the auditory nerve. 
Out Gate  Transaction or interchange that occurs at the time a container leaves a rail or water terminal. 
Outturn  As measured at vessel discharge. The industry uses this term as a description of the oil unloaded at a buyer's terminal. It indicates that measurements taken at the delivery of a parcel will determine the quality or quantity, or both, of a parcel changing hands. Common phrases incorporating this term include "outturn barrels", "outturn quantity", "outturn quality", and "outturn Q and Q". 
Over the Barrel  The most common method of punishment aboard ship was flogging. The unfortunate sailor was tied to a grating, a mast or over the barrel of a deck cannon. 
Overage  Quantity of cargo loaded in excess of minimum agreed 
Overbearing  To sail downwind directly at another ship thus "stealing" or diverting the wind from his sails. 
Overboard  Over the side or out of the ship 
Overcharge  To charge more than the proper amount according to the published rates. 
Overhaul  To prevent the buntline ropes from chaffing the sails, crew were sent aloft to haul them over the sails. This was called overhauling. 
Overhead stream  The fraction which leaves through the top of a distillation column as a gas. 
Overheight Cargo  Cargo more than eight feet high which thus cannot fit into a standard container. 
Overland Common Point (OCP)  A term stated on the bills of lading offering lower shipping rates to importers east of the Rockies, provided merchandise from the Far East comes in through the West Coast ports. OCP rates were es- tablished by U.S. West Coast steamship companies in conjunction with western railroads so that cargo originating or destined for the American Midwest and East would be competitive with all–water rates via the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf ports. Applies to eastern Canada. 
Overreach  If a ship holds a tack course too long, it has overreached its turning point and the distance it must travel to reach it's next tack point is increased. 
Overwhelm  Old English for capsize or founder. 
OVID  Offshore Vessel Inspection Database 
OVIQ  Offshore Vessel Inspection Questionnaire 
OVMSA  Offshore Vessel Management and Self Assessment 
OW or OWS or OWNS  Owners 
OWISE  Otherwise 
Owner Code (SCAC)  Standard Carrier Abbreviation Code identifying an individual common carrier. A three letter carrier code followed by a suffix identifies the carrier’s equipment. A suffix of “U” is a container and “C” is a chassis. 
OWS  Oily Water Separator 
OWS  Owners 
Oxidation  Process in which the unsaturated fatty acids of oils and fats react with oxygen, resulting in rancidity. Oils and fats in contact with oxygen present in the atmosphere will cause chemical changes in the product which will downgrade the quality. Oxidation proceeds more rapidly as the temperature increases, so advisable to carry out each operation at the lowest practicable temperature. The rate of oxidation is greatly increased by the catalytic action of copper or copper alloys, even when trace amounts are present. Copper and copper alloys must be excluded from the transportation systems. Other metals, such as iron, also have catalytic effects, although less than those of copper. Oxidation is reduced by limiting air contact. 
Oxidation stability  Resistance to change when exposed to air. Motor gasoline should have this property. Otherwise it will form gum when stored. 
Oxidized Oil  Deteriorated oil due to attack by atmospheric oxygen which has occurred either during processing or during subsequent storage and transport. The chemical change is gradual and progressive but the effect on quality can be very great. Commonly assayed by peroxide value for primary oxidation and anisidine value for secondary products, both types of oxidation can also be measured directly in an ultra-violet spectrophotometer. 
Oxidizer  A chemical which supplies its own oxygen and which helps other combustible material burn more readily. 
Oxidizing agent  Substance causing oxidation by accepting electrons 
Oxygenate  Oxygen-containing molecules such as alcohols or ethers used either for volume or octane, or both, in motor gasoline blending. Common examples of such compounds include ethanol, tertiary-butyl alcohol (TBA), and methyl-tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE). 
Oxygenation Vessel  A vessel designed for re-oxygenating waterways where waters have low levels of oxygen through pollution