Shipping Terms

H

Handysize Bulk Carrier

A means of categorizing a bulk carrier by size. A Handysize Bulk Carrier, or bulkers as they're also known, generally have a capacity of between 10,000 and 40,000 DWT.

Harbor

A Harbor is an area situated on the coast where boats and other vessels are moored. Harbors are often natural although they can be man-made. Most natural harbors are surrounded by land, apart from an entrance to the sea. They also have a solid sea wall that protects the vessels from waves and currents.

Harbor Dues

 Harbor Dues are fees that are charged to seagoing vessels entering a harbor. These cover the costs associated with the repair and maintenance of equipment such as harbor lights and buoys as well as channel depths. This is a locally enforced fee and not all harbors charge it.

Harbor Master

Also known as a Port Captain, the Harbor Master manages the movements of ships and boats that take place in, and within the immediate area, of the port. He or she will have deep knowledge of the harbor and its surroundings, and is often a certified master mariner in their own right.

Hard Aground

Hard Aground is when a ship has run aground but is not capable of refloating under its own means or power.

Hatch

A Hatch is, normally, a rectangular shaped opening in a ship’s deck that provides access to the compartment or space below.

Hawser

A Hawser is a strong, thick cable or rope that is used for mooring vessels or for towing them.

Hazardous Cargo

Also known as dangerous cargo, Hazardous Cargo refers to any substance being transported that is toxic, inflammable or otherwise dangerous.

Heavy Lift

Heavy Lift is extremely heavy cargo that needs specialized equipment to load and unload it. Generally this type of cargo will be carried by a heavy lift vessel (HLV) which is specifically designed for the transportation of oversize and very heavy goods.

Heavy Lift Charge

A Heavy Lift Charge is a fee charged for cargo that is too heavy to be lifted by a vessel's onboard cranes, or the standard cranes at a port.

Heavy Lift Vessel

A Heavy Lift Vessel (HLV) is an enormous ship that can lift and transport pretty much any load they are tasked with, including other ships, floating plants and industrial units. HLVs come in four main classes: Dock ships, semi-submersible vessels, project cargo carriers, and open deck cargo ships. The big difference between the classes is the way they lift their loads. 

Heel

Heel is a word used to describe it when a sailing boat is leaning over to one side - i.e. the vessel is heeling.

Helm

The Helm is technically the steering wheel of a vessel. It’s a wheel or tiller that is usually installed in the wheelhouse or on the bridge of a ship to turn the rudder during navigation and maneuvers. 

Helmsman

A Helmsman is an Able Bodied Seamen who is trusted with manning the helm - AKA the wheel or tiller of a ship - to steer the vessel.

Hold

The Hold is the large compartments below a ship’s main deck where general cargo is stowed.

Home Port

Sometimes also called an embarkation port or a turn around port, a Home Port is where cruise ships welcome their passengers onboard - and disembark them at the end of the trip.

Hull

The Hull is the body or shell of a vessel. Refers to the bottom and the sides of the ship.