What does LT stand for? What does on-carriage mean? What's a time charter?

Shipping jargon and terminology can be confusing. In this section, we explain the meaning of the most commonly used international shipping terms.

If you still need a specific shipping term explained in detail, simply contact your nearest Safmarine office – we’re happy to help.


Service of providing inland import transportation to our customer's premises from the port of discharge. This offers the customer flexibility of door to door transportation. This service is applicable when the carrier provides inland transportation to the desired inland location, based on the request of the customer.

On-deck stowage
Cargo stowed on the deck of a vessel.
On-time performance
The number of times that a transit system adheres to its published schedule times within stated tolerances; normally expressed as a percentage.
Open rates
Rates established for each individual carrier. These rates are listed in a tariff list, but may differ according to carrier.
Order cycle
The time and the process involved from the placement of an order to the receipt of the shipment. The order cycle includes the following processes: communicating the order, order processing and transportation of the shipment.
Origin motor terminal/Origin rail terminal/Destination motor terminal
The company or person, identified in the bill of lading or waybill, that must be notified when the cargo arrives at destination. This could be different from the consignee, but is usually the receiver of the goods. A notify party has no particular rights (beyond the notification) under the bill of lading or waybill.
Original Bill of Lading
See Negotiable Bill of Lading.
Out of Gauge service
A service in which Out of Gauge cargo is handled. Out of Gauge refers to cargo that exceeds the dimensions of a standard container by length, width, height and/or weight. It can be shipped as containerised cargo, but special handling and equipment is required.
Export shipments.
A destination port, other than a base port, to which rates apply but which may be subject to additional outport arbitraries.
To hire a third-party provider to assume tasks or services.
Over-landed cargo
(1) The cargo volume count is higher than originally shipped.
(2) Cargo taken beyond the original port of discharge.
Overland Common Port (OPC)
A special rate concession made by shipping lines, rail carriers and truckers serving the U.S. West Coast for export and import traffic, intended to benefit midwest shippers and importers by equalising rates to and from other coastal areas, and offering these midwest companies a comparable alternative. The steamship companies lower their rates and the inland carriers pick up the terminal charges, which consist of handling charges, wharfage charges and car loading or unloading charges. OCP rates apply to cargo shipped from or consigned to the states of: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and all states east thereof. OCP rates in Canada apply to the provinces of: Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.