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Hague rules

Rules governing the carriage of goods by sea and identifying the rights and responsibilities of carriers and owners of cargo. These rules were published in 1924 following an international convention and were subsequently given the force of law by many maritime nations

Hamburg rules

Rules governing the rights and responsibilities of carrier and cargo interests which may be incorporated into a contract for the carriage of goods by sea either by agreement of the parties or statutorily. These rules were adopted by the United National Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea in 1978.

Hand (wheel) jack opening

Space provided in the bottom deck to allow pallet jack wheels to bear on the floor.

Hand truck

Refers to a type of fork truck that is powered but does not carry an operator. Often referred to as a walk behind fork truck.

Hand-held computer

Any portable computer that can be operated while holding it in one hand.

Hand-held scanner

A bar code reader that that is manually pointed at a bar code to read it. Most common are the wired pistol-shaped devices used in retail stores. Hand-held scanners can also be wireless.


A single pick-up, movement and set-down of a loaded or empty pallet.

Handling costs

The cost involved in moving, transferring, preparing, and otherwise handling inventory.

Harbour dues

Various local charges against all seagoing vessels entering a harbour, to cover maintenance of channel depths, buoys, lights, etc. All harbours do not necessarily have this charge

Harbour maintenance fees

Charges assessed to users for use of a harbour, used generally for maintenance of the harbour

Harbour master

A person usually having the experience of a certificated master mariner and having a good knowledge of the characteristics of the port and its whole area. He administers the entire shipping movements that take place in and within reach of the port he is responsible for.

Harbour tax

A tax paid quarterly by exporters to U.S. Customs based on a percentage of their total value of exports.

Hard aground

A vessel which has gone aground and is incapable of re-floating under her own power.

Hard copy

Computer output printed on paper.

Hard currency

A currency which is sound enough to be accepted internationally and which is usually fully convertible – currently this would include the US Dollar, British Pound and Euro, for example.

Hardened-steel nail

Heat-treated and tempered steel pallet nail with a MIBANT angle between 8 and 28 degrees.


Wood from broad-leaved species of trees (not necessarily hard or dense).

Harmonised code

An internationally accepted and uniform description system for classifying goods for customs, statistical, and other purposes

Harmonised 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 organisation in Brussels, this code is a hierarchically structured product nomenclature containing approximately 5,000 headings and subheadings. It is organised 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 Fibres; 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 Harmonised System (HS) is the current U.S. tariff schedule (TSUSA) for imports and is the basis for the ten-digit Schedule B export code.

Harmonised tariff schedule

A comprehensive list of all products, classified according to their characteristics, and used to provide duty rate and statistical information

Harmonised tariff schedule of the United States

The legal list issued by the U.S. Government used to determine the classification of imported merchandise

Harter Act 1893

Legislation protecting a ship’s owner against claims for damage resulting from the behaviour of the vessel’s crew; provided the ship left port in a seaworthy condition, and was properly manned and equipped. His U.S. statute refers to merchandise or property transported from or between ports of the United States and foreign ports. Now partially superseded by the US Carriage of Goods by Sea Act of 1936.


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

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, the Rules became known as the Hague-Visby Rules. A final amendment was made in the SDR Protocol in 1979.

The premise of the Hague-Visby Rules (and of the earlier English Common Law) is that a carrier has far greater bargaining power than the shipper; and that to protect the interests of the shipper/cargo-owner, the law should impose minimum obligations upon the carrier.

Hawaiian carrier

A for-hire air carrier that operates within the state of Hawaii


Large strong rope used for towing purposes and for securing or mooring ships. Hawsers are now mostly made of steel

Hawthorne effect

From a study conducted at the Hawthorne Plant of Western Electric Company in 1927-1932 which found that the act of showing people that you are concerned usually results in better job performance. Studying and monitoring of activities are typically seen as being concerned and results in improved productivity.


An industry abbreviation for “Hazardous Material.”

Hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP)

A quality management system for effectively and efficiently ensuring farm to table food safety in the United States. HACCP regulations for various sectors are established by the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

Hazard Class

Numerical designation of the primary transportation hazard based upon the chemical and physical properties of the hazardous chemical. For example, the hazard class assigned to acetone is 3, which corresponds to a flammable liquid.

Hazardous Material (HM):

A substance or material which has been determined by the Department of Transportation to be capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety and property when transported in commerce. A complete listing of hazardous material can be found in 49 CFR 172.101.


High Density Polyethylene

Headmount display

A wearable device that is positioned in front of one of the user’s eyes and projects a viewable image of a computer screen.

Heater Service

The protection of freezable shipments by heat.

Heavy-Lift Charge

A charge made for lifting articles too heavy to be lifted by a ship’s normal tackle.

Hedge inventory

A form of inventory buildup to buffer against some event that may not happen. Hedge inventory planning involves speculation related to potential labour strikes, price increases, unsettled governments, and events that could severely impair a company’s strategic initiatives. Risk and consequences are unusually high, and top management approval is often required.


A strategy used by dealers in commodities, foreign exchange and securities, and by manufacturers and other producers to prevent loss due to price fluctuations


From Japanese. A method of levelling production, usually at the final assembly line, that makes just-in-time production possible. It involves averaging both the volume and sequence of different model types on a mixed model production line. Using this method avoids excessive batching of different types of product and volume fluctuations in the same product. Also see “production smoothing.”

Helical nail

Helically (continuous spiral) threaded pallet nail, see also drive screw nail.


A spiral-wound wire used as a hinge or attaching device.


A tiller or a wheel generally installed on the bridge or wheelhouse of a ship to turn the rudder during manoeuvring and navigation. It is in fact the steering wheel of the ship

Hierarchy of cost assignability

In cost accounting, an approach to group activity costs at the level of an organisation where they are incurred, or can be directly related to. Examples are the level where individual units are identified (unit-level), where batches of units are organised or processed (batch-level), where a process is operated or supported (process-level), or where costs cannot be objectively assigned to lower level activities or processes (facility-level). This approach is used to better understand the nature of the costs, including the level in the organisation at which they are incurred, the level to which they can be initially assigned (attached) and the degree to which they are assignable to other activity and/or cost object levels, i.e. activity or cost object cost, or sustaining costs.

High Cube

A trailer body with above average cubic content.

High performance computer

Computers with a Composite Theoretical Performance greater than 2000 Million Theoretical Operations Per Second

High rise shelving

Units in excess of 10’3″ high and serviced by rolling ladders or mechanical non-entry stock pickers. Normally tied together across the top over aisles.

High-density storage

Describes storage methods where unitised loads are stored more than one unit deep and/or high. Stacked bulk floor storage, drive-in/drive-thru rack, push-back rack, flow rack, and, to a lesser extent, double-deep rack, are examples of high-density storage.

High-piled combustible storage

Term used in fire codes to refer to codes relating to floor or racked storage exceeding 12 feet in height or high-hazard commodity storage exceeding 6 feet in height. 

Highway trust fund

Federal highway use tax revenues are paid into this fund, and the federal government’s share of highway construction is paid from the fund.

Highway use taxes

Taxes assessed by federal and state governments against users of the highway (the fuel tax is an example). They use tax money is used to pay for the construction, maintenance, and policing of highways.


In the Just-in-Time philosophy, an approach to level production throughout the supply chain to match the planned rate of end product sales.


Usually refers to a forklift truck on which the operator must stand rather than sit.

Hinged bridge

A hinged transition plate which is attached to the edge of the platform and used to bridge the gap between the platform and landing and/or truck bed.


A graphic summary of variation in a set of data. The pictorial nature of a histogram lets people see patterns that are difficult to detect in a simple table of numbers.


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.


The Hoist Manufacturer’s Institute, an affiliate of Material Handling Industry, is a trade association of manufacturers of overhead handling hoists. The products of its member companies include hand chain hoists, ratchet lever hoists, trolleys, air chain and air rope hoists, and electric chain and electric wire rope hoists. 


Harbour Maintenance Tax.


A large cask

Hoisting rope

Special flexible wire rope for lifting purposes, generally being of six strands with 19 wires in each strand and in most cases having a hemp rope at the centre


A suspended machinery unit that is used for lifting or lowering a freely suspended (unguided) load. 

May be manually operated or electrically or pneumatically driven and may use chain or wire rope as its lifting medium.


A general name for the spaces below the main deck designated for stowage of general cargo. A hold on a tanker is usually just forward of #1 cargo tank. Some newer tankers have no hold

Hold for pickup

Freight to be held at the carrier’s destination location for the recipient to pick up

Hold harmless contract

An agreement by which one party accepts responsibility for all damages and other liability that may arise from a transaction, relieving the other party of any such liability. The contract provides complete indemnity

Hold without action

A designation placed on an export license to review the exporter’s application or shipment under consideration

Holder in due course

An individual or legal entity (holder) who possesses a negotiable instrument, document of title, or similar document, and who took possession for value, in good faith, and without notice of any other individual’s or legal entity’s claim or defence against the instrument or document


The practice of removing merchandise in pallet load quantities where the space is not exhausted in an orderly fashion. This results in inefficiencies due to the fact that the received merchandise may not be efficiently stored in the space which is created by the honey-combing. 2. The storing or withdrawal or supplies in a manner that results in vacant space that is not usable for storage of other items. 3. Creation of unoccupied space resulting from withdrawal of unit loads. This is one of the major hidden costs of warehousing

Hook rotator

A motorised device that powers the rotation of the hook attached to the bottom block of a hoist.

The hook on a bottom block generally rotates manually but due to the weight of a load and/or the need for controlled hook movement, this hook rotation is driven by a motor and gearing arrangement.

Hopper Barge

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

Hopper cars

Rail cars that permit top loading and bottom unloading of bulk commodities; some hopper cars have permanent tops with hatches to provide protection against the elements.

Horizontal Carousels

As a storage device, a horizontal carousel consists of a fixed number of adjacent storage columns or bays that are mechanically linked to either an overhead or floor mounted drive mechanism to form a complete loop.

Each column is divided into a fixed number of storage location or bins which in most applications are constructed of a welded wire frame.

Loads consisting of containers or totes may be inserted and retrieved either manually or by an automatic inserter/extractor mechanism.

However, rotation of the carousel, whereby a specific storage location is brought to the picking location, is almost always controlled automatically.

See also Vertical Carousel, Vertical Lift Module, Rotary Rack, and/or AS/RS.

Horizontal export trading company

An export trading company that exports a range of similar or identical products supplied by a number of manufacturers or other producers

Horizontal play/Horizontal hub

This is a term for a function that cuts across many industries, usually defines a facility or organisation that is providing a common service.

Hoshin kanri

Hoshin kanri is a method devised to capture and cement strategic goals as well as flashes of insight about the future and develop the means to bring these into reality.” Also called Policy Deployment or Hoshin Planning, it is a Strategic planning/Strategic management methodology, developed by Dr. Yoji Akao, that uses a Shewhart cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act) to create goals, choose control points (measurable milestones), and link daily control activities to company strategy.

Hoshin planning

Breakthrough planning. A Japanese strategic planning process in which a company develops up to four vision statements that indicate where the company should be in the next five years. Company goals and work plans are developed based on the vision statements. Periodic submitted audits are then conducted to monitor progress. Also see “value stream.”

Host system

The primary computer system. The computer system on which the primary database resides.


An individual employed to move trucks and trailers within a terminal or warehouse yard area.

Hot Tag

A shipment requiring special handling to achieve earlier-than-normal delivery service.

House of quality

A product planning matrix, somewhat resembling a house, that is developed during quality function deployment and shows the relationship of customer requirements to the means of achieving these requirements.

Household goods warehouse

A warehouse that is used to store household goods.


The orderliness and cleanliness of work areas and storage areas.


See Door-to-Door.


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.


A vessel used for the transportation of passengers and cargo riding on a cushion of air formed under it. It is very manoeuvrable and is also amphibious


See Human Resources


See HyperText Markup Language


Terminal serving regionally located end-of-line terminals as breakbulk. The hub of a “hub and spoke system” is the breakbulk and the spokes lead to the EOL terminals it serves.


A large retailer or manufacturer having many trading partners. 2) A reference for a transportation network as in “hub and spoke” which is common in the airline and trucking industry. For example, a hub airport serves as the focal point for the origin and termination of long-distance flights where flights from outlying areas are fed into the hub airport for connecting flights. 3) A common connection point for devices in a network. 4) A Web “hub” is one of the initial names for what is now known as a “portal”. It came from the creative idea of producing a website, which would contain many different “portal spots” (small boxes that looked like ads, with links to different yet related content). This content, combined with Internet technology, made this idea a milestone in the development and appearance of websites, primarily due to the ability to display a lot of useful content and store one’s preferred information on a secured server. The web term “hub” was replaced with portal

Hub airport

An airport that serves as the focal point for the origin and termination of long-distance flights; flights from outlying areas are fed into the hub airport for connecting flights.

Hub and spoke routing

An aircraft routing service pattern that feeds traffic from many cities into a central hub.


Shell or body of a ship.

Human resources

The function broadly responsible for personnel policies and practices within an organisation.

Human-machine interface

Any point where data is communicated from a worker to a computer or from a computer to a worker. Data entry programs, inquire programs, reports, documents, LED displays, and voice commands are all examples of human-machine interfaces.


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.

Hundred Weight

A statement of weight meaning 100 pounds, abbreviated CWT.

Hundredweight pricing

Special pricing for multiple piece shipments travelling to one destination that are rated on the total weight of the shipment (usually over 100 pounds) as opposed to rating on a per package basis

Hybrid inventory system

An inventory system combining features of the fixed reorder quantity inventory model and the fixed reorder cycle inventory model. Features of the fixed reorder cycle inventory model and the fixed reorder quantity inventory model can be combined in many different ways. For example, in the order point-periodic review combination system, an order is placed if the inventory level drops below a specified level before the review date; if not, the order quantity is determined at the next review date. Another hybrid inventory system is the optional replenishment model. Also see: Fixed Reorder Cycle Inventory Model, Fixed Reorder Quantity Inventory Model, Optional Replenishment Model

Hybrid truck

Material handling vehicle which crosses several categories, in function, in power source, etc.


A craft more or less similar to the Hovercraft insofar as it flies over water and thus eliminates friction between the water and the hull. Under acceleration it rises above water but remains in contact with the surface through supporting legs


A computer term. Also referred to as “link”. The text you find on a website which can be “clicked on” with a mouse which, in turn, will take you to another web page or a different area of the same web page. Hyperlinks are created or “coded” in HTML

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