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Glossary of Shipping Terms


HAZ MAT – An industry abbreviation for "Hazardous Material."

Hague Rules, The – A multilateral maritime treaty adopted in 1921 (at The Hague, Netherlands). Standardizes liability of an international carrier under the Ocean B/L. Establishes a legal "floor" for B/L. See COGSA

Handymax Vessel – A dry bulk vessel of 35,000 to 49,000dwt. (Note that a "Handy" drybulk carrier is from 10,000 to 34,000dwt.) A "Handymax Tanker" is a liquid bulk carrier of 10,000 to 60,000dwt.

Harbor Master – An official responsible for construction, maintenance, operation, regulation, enforcement, administration and management pertaining to marinas, ports and harbors.

Harbor – Any place to which ships may resort for shelter, or to load or unload passengers or goods, or to obtain fuel, water, or supplies. This term applies to such places whether proclaimed public or not and whether natural or artificial.

Harmonized System of Codes (HS) – 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 organization in Brussels, this code is a hierarchically structured product nomenclature containing approximately 5,000 headings and subheadings. It is organized into 99 chapters arranged in 22 sections. Sections encompass an industry (e.g., Section XI, Textiles and Textile Articles); chapters encompass the various materials and products of the industry (e.g., Chapter 50, Silk; Chapter 55, Manmade Staple Fibers; Chapter 57, Carpets). The basic code contains four-digit headings and six-digit subheadings. Many countries add digits for Customs tariff and statistical purposes. In the United States, duty rates will be the eight-digit level; statistical suffixes will be at the ten-digit level. The Harmonized System (HS) is the current U.S. tariff schedule (TSUSA) for imports and is the basis for the ten-digit Schedule B export code.

Hatch – The opening in the deck of a vessel; gives access to the cargo hold.

Heavy-Lift Charge – A charge made for lifting articles too heavy to be lifted by a ship's normal tackle.

High-Density Compression – Compression of a flat or standard bale of cotton to approximately 32 pounds per cubic foot. Usually applies to cotton exported or shipped coastwise.

Hitchment B/L: – - B/L covering parts of a shipment which are loaded at more than one location. Hitchment B/L usually consists of two parts, hitchment and hitchment memo. The hitchment portion usually covers the majority of a divided shipment and carries the entire revenue.

Hitchment – 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. See Bill of Lading.

Hopper Barge – A barge which loads material dumped into it by a dredger and discharges the cargo through the bottom.

House B/L: – - B/L issued by a freight forwarder or consolidator covering a single shipment containing the names, addresses and specific description of the goods shipped.

House-to-House – See Door-to-Door.

House-to-Pier – Cargo loaded into a container by the shipper under shipper's supervision. When the cargo is exported, it is unloaded at the foreign pier destination.

Humping – The process of connecting a moving rail car with a motionless rail car within a rail classification yard in order to make up a train. The cars move by gravity from an incline or "hump" onto the appropriate track.