Orient Overseas Container Line, commonly known as OOCL, is a Hong Kong container shipping and logistics service company.

Orient Overseas Container Line
PredecessorFurness Withy 
Founded1969 (1969)
Area served
ParentOrient Overseas (International) Limited

OOCL is a large integrated international container transportation, logistics and terminal company[1] with offices in 70 countries. OOCL has 59 vessels of different classes, with capacity varying from 2,992 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to 21,413 TEU, including two ice-class vessels for extreme weather conditions.

OOCL is a member of the Grand Alliance[2] formed in 1998. Its founder members are Hapag-Lloyd (Germany), NYK (Japan) and OOCL (Hong Kong).

Liner Services

OOCL offers around 78 weekly services around the world. Linking Asia, Europe, North America, the Mediterranean, the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

Container Terminals

OOCL affiliated companies own or operate dedicated container terminals in North America and Asia, namely: Long Beach Container Terminal in California and KAOCT in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Information technology

Beginning in 1993, the group adopted the Integrated Regional Information System (IRIS-2), specifically designed for the container shipping industry.[3] IRIS-2 integrates the business processes of all OOCL offices, customers' shipments and financial information into one system. OOCL was a finalist for the Smithsonian Institution Award for Innovation in 1999 for its achievements with IRIS-2. The program is written in GemStone/S Smalltalk, making it one of the largest Smalltalk applications in the world.[4]

On April 24, 2018, OOCL revealed that it had come to an agreement with Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA) to investigate the potential of Artificial Intelligence to improve network operations and efficiencies for the shipping industry.[5]

Environmental Considerations

OOCL was the first container shipping line to have achieved the Safety, Quality and Environmental (SQE) Management System certification (which consolidates the ISM-Code, ISO9001.2000 and ISO14001 requirements)[6]

In 1992, five years in advance of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to protect the Earth's ozone layer, OOCL changed the design of its refrigerated container machinery in order to eliminate the use of CFCs.

OOCL maintained a 100 percent compliance with the Port of Long Beach Green Flag program in 2006 and 2007. OOCL donated its rebates, totaling US$140,000, back to community projects and charities in Long Beach. From 1 Jan 2006, OOCL stopped using pre-1989 trucks for all port moves between Southern Californian terminals and off-dock rail ramps, helping to reduce emissions as part of the Port's “Clean Truck Program” It also complies with the Qualship 21 program, which identifies quality operation of non-US-flagged vessels.

OOCL has a had a fuel saving program in place since 2001, to cut down on greenhouse gases. Initiatives to minimize fuel consumption include:

  • Weather-routing systems to provide shorter routes safely
  • Optimum trim (balance of cargo) and minimum ballast water
  • Fuel injection and exhaust valve timing control for better efficiency
  • Shaft generator and exhaust gas economizer for generating electricity
  • Regular maintenance to keep the ship clean and free of marine growths such as barnacles, algae and mollusks. This maintenance includes polishing the propeller and hull, and monitoring engine performance.

OOCL conducted a Shore Power Study (in 2003) and a Sea Water Scrubber Study (in 2005) in order to identify different ways to reduce emissions, both in port and at sea.

Community Responsibility

The "Tung OOCL Scholarship" was set up in 1995 to support the continued education of young people. Currently, the Tung OOCL Scholarship comprises two programs: University Scholarship Program (China) and Employee's Children Scholarship Program. The University Scholarships have been established in six universities. They are Tsinghua University, Peking University, Fudan University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Zhejiang University and Nanjing University. Since the establishment of the scholarship more than 2,500 undergraduate and post-graduate students have been awarded scholarships with more than US$2.3 million in funding. Every year, a selection panel is set up in each university to shortlist potential candidates, based on academic results and performance, plus active participation in extracurricular activities. Based on the same selection criteria, the Employees' Children Scholarship is awarded annually to the children of employees in all OOCL offices.

OOCL also participates in many other types of community support. One of the major and on-going projects is Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere). OOCL is assisting with the transportation of the latest diagnostic medical equipment and supplies from the United States (donated by global corporations) to Shanghai Children's Hospital, China.

OOCL sponsors many musicals and shows visiting the Asia-Pacific region, including Cats, Phantom of the Opera, We Will Rock You, Swan Lake on Ice, Musical Moments and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


OOCL participates in The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program (C-TPAT), which is a voluntary government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve overall international supply chain and U.S. border security.

OOCL also complies with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code). The ISPS Code states that, as threat increases, the only logical counteraction is to reduce vulnerability. Subsequently, ships will be subject to a system of survey, verification, certification, and control to ensure that their security measures are implemented. This system will be based on a considerably expanded control system as stipulated in the 1974 Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The company also complies with the Container Security Initiative (CSI) and the US Customs 24-Hour Advance Cargo Manifest Declaration Rule.[7]

OOCL Logistics

OOCL Logistics Ltd. (OLL), the OOIL Group's international freight consolidation and logistics service unit, began in 1979. Services extend from basic freight consolidation services to the management and operation of more comprehensive programs involving multi-modal transportation, warehousing and distribution activities.


OOCL was founded by C. Y. Tung in 1947 as the Orient Overseas Line. In 1969, OOL was the first Asian -based shipping line to transport containerized cargo across the Pacific. Consequently, the company was renamed Orient Overseas Container Line. In those days its Victory-class vessels could carry 300 TEU, a far cry from today's post-Panamax vessels. In April 2003, OOCL took delivery of the SX-Class OOCL Shenzhen,[8] then the largest containership ever built at 8,063 TEU. In 2006, it lost its title to the Emma Mærsk. At its peak, OOCL had a fleet of over 150 freight ships, with a cargo capacity exceeding 10 million tons; it was one of the world's top seven shipping lines. At one stage it owned the Seawise Giant, the largest ship ever built, having bought it from the shipyard when the previous owners refused delivery.

After C. Y. Tung's death in 1982, C. H. Tung, assumed the leadership of Orient Overseas (International) Limited (OOIL), OOCL's parent company for 14 years. In 1996, C. C. Tung took over at the helm on his brother C. H. Tung's election as Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

In September 1970, Tung purchased the ocean liner RMS Queen Elizabeth to convert it into a floating university, to be known as Seawise University, as part of the World Campus Afloat programme. On 9 January 1972, the ship caught fire during refurbishing and sank in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour and the wreckage had to be scrapped three years later.

In 2003, OOCL lost one of its senior executives, Courtenay Allan, the company's Transatlantic Trade Director. Allen died after falling down a lift shaft on the OOCL Montreal in Le Havre.[9]

In recent years, OOCL has taken over a number of well-known shipping lines. These include Furness Withy, Houlder Brothers, Manchester Liners, Shaw Savill, PSNC, Prince Line & the Alexander Shipping Company.[10]

In 2015, OOCL ordered six of the largest container ships, holding up to 20,150 TEU each.[11] The first of these, the OOCL Hong Kong, was christened on May 12, 2017.[12] The ship became the world's first container ship to exceed 21,000 TEU mark and achieved a Guinness World Record.[13]

In July 2017, the parent company, OOIL, received a US$6.3 billion take over bid from its Chinese rival, COSCO. The bid has been accepted subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.[14]

Current Fleet

The fleet consists of 59 vessels of 6 different classes. There are variations within each class.[15]

Class TEUs Ships GT In service Notes
Ice Class 2,992 OOCL Belgium 39,174 1998
4,402 OOCL Montreal 55.994 2003
P Class 4,583 OOCL Australia 41,479 2006
OOCL Zhoushan 2006
4,578 OOCL Brisbane 40,168 2009
OOCL Busan 2008
OOCL Charleston 2010
OOCL Dalian 2009
OOCL Guangzou 2010
OOCL Houston 2007
OOCL Jakarta 2010
OOCL Kobe 2007
OOCL Le Havre 2010
OOCL Nagoya 2009
OOCL New Zealand 2009
OOCL Norfolk 2009
OOCL Panama 2008
OOCL Savannah 2010
OOCL Texas 2008
OOCL Yokohama 2007
S Class 5,344 OOCL America 66,046 1995
OOCL California 1995
5,714 OOCL Chicago 66,677 2000
OOCL San Francisco 2000
5,770 OOCL New York 66,289 1999
OOCL Shanghai 1999
5,888 OOCL Italy 66,940 2017 Formerly Vietnam Express
SX Class 8,063 OOCL Hamburg 89,097 2004
OOCL Rotterdam 2004
OOCL Asia 89,010 2006
OOCL Atlanta 2005
OOCL Europe 2006
OOCL London 2010
OOCL Luxembourg 2010
OOCL Seoul 2010
OOCL Southampton 2007
OOCL Tokyo 2007
OOCL Washington 2010
8,888 OOCL Beijing 91,563 2011
OOCL Canada 2011
OOCL Memphis 2013
OOCL Miami 2013
OOCL Genoa 91,499 2015
OOCL Ho Chi Minh City 2015
OOCL Taipei 2015
OOCL Utah 2015
M Class 13,208 OOCL Brussels 141,003 2013
OOCL Poland 2013 Formerly NYK Helios
OOCL Berlin 2013
OOCL France 2013 Formerly NYK Hercules
OOCL Chongqing 2013
OOCL Malaysia 2013 Formerly NYK Hermes
OOCL Bangkok 2014
OOCL Egypt 2013 Formerly NYK Hyperion
OOCL Korea 2013
OOCL Singapore 2013
G Class 21,413 OOCL Hong Kong 210,890 2017
OOCL Germany 2017
OOCL Japan 2017
OOCL United Kingdom 2017
OOCL Scandinavia 2017
OOCL Indonesia 2018

See also


  1. OOCL Career Opportunities
  2. Grand Alliance - Google Search
  3. Information Technology - OOCL.com
  4. OOCL success story - GemStone
  5. "OOCL teams with Microsoft to develop AI shipping solutions -". Splash 247. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  6. .http://static.globalreporting.org/report-pdfs/2015/d096ad2ac4bd1f12113d238af627aded.pdf
  7. Customer Advisories - OOCL.com
  8. OOCL Shenzhen - OOCL.com
  9. "French courts hold investigation into death of Courtenay Allan". Southern Daily Echo. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  10. History of OOCL - OOCL.com
  11. Stensvold, Tore (10 April 2015). "Samsung setter ny rekord for containerskip - igjen" [Samsung sets new record - again]. Teknisk Ukeblad. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  12. "OOCL reaches milestone with the christening of the OOCL Hong Kong" (Press release). OOCL Hong Kong. 15 May 2017.
  13. "OOCL Hong Kong Achieves Guinness World Record". The Maritime Executive. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  14. "China shipping firm Cosco to buy HK rival OOIL for $6.3bn". BBC News. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  15. "OOCL - Vessels". OOCL. Retrieved 12 July 2017.

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