Shipping terminologies for your guidance

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Hague Protocol

An amendment of the Warsaw convention at The Hague, September 28, 1955 (regarding air cargo).


Hague Rules, The

A multilateral maritime treaty drafted in 1924 at The Hague


Hague-Visby Rules

The Hague-Visby Rules are a set of international rules for the carriage of goods by sea.

The official title is "International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law relating to Bills of Lading" and was drafted in Brussels in 1924. After being amended by the Visby Amendments (officially the "Protocol to Amend the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law Relating to Bills of Lading") in 1968


Half-Height Container

An open top container


Halyard or halliard

Originally, ropes used for hoisting a spar with a sail attached; today, a line is used to raise the head of any sail.


Hamburg Rules

The Hamburg Rules are a set of rules governing the international shipment of goods, resulting from the United Nations International Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea - adopted in Hamburg in 1978 and in force as of November 1, 1992 in those countries which have ratified it.



Canvas sheets


Hand bomber

A ship using coal-fired boilers shoveled in by hand.


Hand over fist

To climb steadily upwards



With a slow even motion


Handy billy

This is a loose block and tackle with a hook or tail on each end, which can be used wherever it is needed as an emergency portable pump. It is usually made up of one single and one double block.



A fastener attached to the luff of the headsail that attaches the headsail to the forestay. Typical designs include a bronze or plastic hook with a spring-operated gate, or a strip of cloth webbing with a snap fastener.


Harbor Master / Harbour Master

An officer who attends to the berthing, etc. of ships in a harbour and related duties.



A harbour, or haven, is a place where ships may shelter from the weather or are stored. Harbours can be man-made or natural. A harbour can include many ports.



A section of an otherwise muddy shoreline, suitable for mooring or hauling out.


Harden Up

Turn towards the wind; sail closer to the wind.



A hard and long-lasting dry biscuit, used as food on long journeys. This was also called ship's biscuit or sea biscuit.


Hard-Top Container

A closed container fitted with a roof that can be opened or lifted off.


Harmonized System of Codes

This is an international goods classification system for describing cargo in international trade under a single commodity coding scheme.

Developed under the auspices of the Customs Cooperations Council (CCC), an international Customs organisation in Brussels, this code is a hierarchically structured product nomenclature containing approximately 5,000 headings and subheadings. It is organised into 99 chapters and arranged into 22 sections.

Sections encompass an industry; chapters encompass the various materials and products of the industry.

The basic code contains 44 headings and 6 digit subheadings.

Many countries add digits for Customs tariff and statistical purposes.



The cover of - or opening- in the deck of a vessel, through which cargo is loaded.


Hatch Cover

A watertight means of closing the hatchway of a vessel.


Hatchway, hatch

A covered opening in a ship's deck through which cargo can be moved or access made to a lower deck; the cover to the opening is called a hatch.


Haul wind

To point the ship towards the direction of the wind; generally not the fastest point of travel on a sailing vessel.



The inland carriage of cargo or containers between named locations/points.

1. Merchant inspired Carrier Haulage or customer nominated Carrier Haulage or shipper preferred Carrier Haulage service is performed by a sub-contractor of the merchant.

2. Carrier inspired Merchant Haulage means the Haulage service is performed by a sub- contractor of the Carrier.



A hole in a ship's bow for a cable or chain, such as for an anchor, to pass through.



An informal maritime industry term used to refer to a merchant ship's officer who began his or her career as an unlicensed merchant seaman and did not attend a traditional maritime college/academy to earn their officer license.


Hazardous Material

U.S.A.: Material designated as hazardous under the American 49CFR (Code of Federal Regulations).

The International Maritime Organization prefers to use "Dangerous Goods".



The toilet or latrine of a vessel which, for sailing ships, is projected from the bows.


Head of navigation

A term used to describe the farthest point above the mouth of a river that can be navigated by ships.



Any sail flown in front of the most forward mast.


Heated Container

A thermal container served by a heat producing appliance.



A vessel's transient, vertical, up-and-down motion.


Heave down

The action of turning a ship on its side (for cleaning).


Heaving to

Stopping a sailing vessel by lashing the helm in opposition to the sails. The vessel will gradually drift to leeward, the speed of the drift will depend on the vessel's design.


Heavy fuel oil

Heavy Fuel Oil is a fraction obtained from petroleum distillation, either as a distillate or a residue. The term fuel oil is used to refer only to the heaviest commercial fuel that can be obtained from crude oil; heavier than gasoline and naphtha. Marine diesel oil contains some heavy fuel oil, unlike regular diesels. Also, marine fuel oils sometimes contain waste products such as used motor oil.


Heavy Lift

An additional amount charged by ocean shippers to offset the extra cost of the heavy duty equipment required to handle the cargo.


Heavy Lift Vessel

An item specifically designed to be self-sustaining with heavy lift cranes, to handle unusually heavy and/or out-sized cargoes.


Heavy-Lift Charge

A charge made for lifting articles that are too heavy for a ship's tackle.



Heeling is the lean caused by the wind's force on the sails of a sailing vessel.



A person who steers a ship.


High Cube

Any container which exceeds 8 feet 6 inches (102 inches) in height.

Commonly, high cubes are 9 feet 6 inches high, or 12 inches more than a standard container.


Highfield Lever

A particular type of tensioning lever, usually for running backstays. Their use allows the leeward backstay to be completely slackened so that the boom can be let fully out.



A knot used to tie a rope or line to a fixed object.



The marrying of two or more portions of one shipment that originate at different locations, moving under one Bill of Lading, from one shipper to one consignee. Authority for this service must be granted by tariff publication.



1. A fore-and-aft structural member of the hull fitted over the keel to provide a fixing for the garboard planks.

2. A rough flat scrubbing brush for cleaning a ship's bottom under water.



When the peak of a wave is amidships, causing the hull to bend so the ends of the keel are lower than the middle. This is the opposite of sagging.



In its earlier use, below the orlop deck, the lower part of the interior of a ship's hull, especially when considered as storage space, as for cargo. In later merchant vessels it extended up through the decks to the underside of the weather deck.



A gap in the coverage of newly applied paint, slush, tar or other preservative.



A chunk of sandstone that was used to scrub the decks. The name comes from both the kneeling position sailors adopt to scrub the deck (reminiscent of genuflection for prayer), and the stone itself (which resembled a Bible in shape and size).


Home Port

The port of registration of a vessel.


House B/L

A Bill of Lading issued by a freight consolidator to his client. The (real) Master B/L is the one issued by the carrier to the forwarder.


House To House Transport

The transport of cargo from the premises of the consignor to the premises of the consignee.

Note: In the United States the term 'Point to Point Transport' is used instead of the term 'Door to Door Transport', because the term 'house' may mean 'customs house' or 'brokers house', which are usually located in the port.



A central location to which traffic from many cities is directed and from which traffic is fed to other areas.


Hundred weight

(US:100 lb.; UK: 112 lbs.)



A short ton hundredweight = 100 pounds. Long ton hundredweight = 112 pounds.



A term used by steamship lines, agents, or port captains who are appointed to handle all matters in assisting the master of the vessel - while in port - to obtain such services as bunkering, fresh water, food and supplies, payroll for the crew, doctors' appointments and ship repair.


Hyundai heavy industries Co Ltd.

They are the world's largest shipbuilding company, headquartered in Ulsan, South Korea. The company is a subsidiary of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group.


Hyundai Merchant Marine

A South Korean logistics company providing worldwide container shipping services. It was established in 1976 as Asia Merchant Marine. It became Hyundai Merchant Marine, as part of the Hyundai Group, in 1982.