Handysize refers to a dry bulk carrier or an oil tanker with a capacity between 15,000 and 35,000 DWT. Sometimes they are used to refer vessels with dwt of up to 60,000, thus including Handymax and Supramax vessels under its category. These vessels also have shallower draught in comparison to larger Supramax, Panamax and Chinamax ships, which allows them to operate in most of ports and terminals across the world. Due to their small dimensions, handysize ships can serve ports and terminals of all sizes, even ports with length and draught restrictions. As they are fitted with on-deck cranes, they can also serve ports lacking transshipment infrastructure. As a result, handysize vessels make up the majority of bulk carriers over 10,000 DWT.
Today, most of handysize vessels operate within regional trade routes. These ships are capable of traveling to small ports with length and draught restrictions, as well as lacking the infrastructure for cargo loading and unloading. They are used to carry small bulk cargoes, often in parcel size where individual cargo holds may have a different commodity. Their dry bulk cargo includes iron ore, coal, cement, phosphate, finished steel products, wooden logs, fertilizer, and grains to name a few.
Handysize vessels are primarily built by shipyards in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, India and the Philippines. In addition, some other countries also have the expertise and capacity to build small-sized bulk carriers. The most typical handysize ships being built today are of size 32,000 DWT with a draught of 10 m (33ft). They boast five cargo holds with four on-deck cranes for cargo handling. Some of handysize ships are also equipped with stanchions for easy loading of wooden logs on deck.