Logs can be defined as heavy pieces of trimmed timber, either round, hewn or sawn. If hewn or sawn they may also be referred to as baulks.
Hardwood logs are the products of deciduous or of evergreen trees and include ash, beech, birch, elm and oak from temperate areas and a variety of tropics grown timber, prominent amongst them being mahogany and teak. They are often shipped whole, particularly from under-developed regions lacking the benefit of saw-mills or of alternative facilities to floating out timber to ships at anchor.
Softwoods come mainly from the coniferous trees of the temperate and sub-arctic regions of the world, and include Fir (commonly referred to as Redwood); Spruce (known as Whitewood or Deal); Larch and Pine. These trees provide the raw material for sawn timber, pulp and paper, fibreboard, chipboard and plywood, and may be shipped in a variety of ways, usually as full cargoes, whereas hardwoods are often carried as part-cargoes or as liner parcels.