Brush up on your international shipping vocabulary or find the definition for a specific shipping or customs term.

There are 807 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
HagueRules The

A multilateral maritime treaty adopted in 1921 (at The Hague Netherlands). Standardizes liability of aninternational carrier under the Ocean B/L. Establishes a legal floor for B/L.


A dry bulk vessel of 35000 to 49000dwt. (Note that a Handy drybulk carrier is from 10000 to 34000dwt.) A Handymax Tanker is a liquid bulkcarrier of 10000 to 60000dwt.

Harbour/ Harbour

Any place to which ships may resort for shelter or to load orunload passengers or goods or to obtain fuel water or supplies. This termapplies to such places whether proclaimed public or not and whether natural orartificial.


An official responsible for construction maintenance operationregulation enforcement administration and management pertaining to marinasports and harbours.

HarmonizedSystem of Codes (HS)

An international goods classification system for describingcargo in international trade under a single commodity coding scheme. Developedunder the auspices of the Customs Cooperations Council (CCC) an internationalCustoms organization in Brussels this code is a hierarchically structuredproduct nomenclature containing approximately 5000 headings and subheadings. Itis organized into 99 chapters arranged in 22 sections. Sections encompass anindustry (e.g. Section XI Textiles and Textile Articles), chapters encompassthe various materials and products of the industry (e.g. Chapter 50 Silk, Chapter 55 Manmade Staple Fibres, Chapter57 Carpets). The basic code contains four digit headings and six digitsubheadings. Many countries add digits for Customs tariff and statisticalpurposes. 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 ScheduleB export code.


The opening in the deck of a vessel, gives access to the cargohold.


An industry  HazardousMaterial.

Heavy LiftCharge

A charge made for lifting articles too heavy to be lifted by aships normal tackle.

High DensityCompression

Compression of a flat or standard bale of cotton toapproximately 32 pounds per cubic foot. Usually applies to cotton exported orshipped coastwise.


The marrying of two or more portions of one shipment thatoriginate at different locations moving under one bill of lading from oneshipper to one consignee. Authority for this service must be granted by tariffpublication. See Bill of Lading.


B/L covering parts of a shipment which are loaded at more thanone location. Hitchment B/L usually consists of two parts hitchment andhitchment memo. The hitchment portion usually covers the majority of a dividedshipment and carries the entire revenue.


A barge which loads material dumped into it by a dredger anddischarges the cargo through the bottom.

House toHouse

See Door to Door.

House toPier

Cargo loaded into a container by the shipper under shipperssupervision. When the cargo is exported it is unloaded at the foreign pierdestination.


B/L issued by a freight forwarder or consolidator covering asingle shipment containing the names addresses and specific description of thegoods shipped.

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