A Lighter Aboard Ship or LASH vessel is a less well-known type of vessel that features an onboard crane for loading and unloading the floating cargo. Within this context, lighter does not refer to the crane but to the barge or sloop. Although the name could suggest that it involves various types of cargo, in practice, they are nearly always standardised pushed barges or lighters.
After having been unloaded, the pushed barges can be linked up and shipped further inland, without the need for transhipping. Visa versa, the cargo can also be shipped in via inland navigation. The term lighter is probably derived from the Dutch and/or German language: in the past, sloops or barges (called a lichter, in Dutch or German) were moved alongside the ship to transfer the cargo into.