Explaining low water charges

Rhine barge operator Contargo has published a ‘Low Water’ brochure to explain how and when low water surcharges are applied.

Contargo Berry BV announces the acquisition of Transport Clynhens J., strengthening its container transport services via water, rail, and road within the trimodal concept.

Fluctuating water levels on the Rhine are a natural phenomenon. At present the river has enough water, but the dry summer caused levels to sink considerably, so that for some weeks it was necessary to charter extra tonnage for navigation. At such times Contargo has to introduce the Low Water surcharge. The brochure is designed to make clear to customers these interrelationships and the terms used.

“Of course the water levels in the Rhine are subject to certain seasonal fluctuations,” explained Cok Vinke, co-managing director of Contargo Waterway Logistics. “Although this year we had to implement a low water surcharge for several weeks, and the media frequently showed pictures of sandbanks in the Rhine, 2015 can be counted among the average years. Barges only require a hand’s breadth of water beneath the keel, although then they can’t be fully laden.”

The brochure is available in German, English, Dutch and French on the Contargo website.