In large slabs of ocean - and in any TSS - you will be going in the same direction as everyone else.... west coast
to the Cape.... Persian Gulf to Singapore
, Persian Gulf to Suez and on to Gib and up to Ushant ...all just plugging away along the same dotted line. Ditto coastwise in many places with the bulk of the tonnage just going from headland to headland.
However lots of places - North Sea and Irish Sea frisnstance - are a different kettle of fish
with ships going everywhichway....
Given that 'overtaking' is from 2 points abaft this beam to 2 points abaft that beam in many cases you just alter to pass under their stern... regardless of whether you end up altering to port or starboard...