Bunker Charge

More Transparency

Contargo makes continual efforts to keep costs low by implementing a whole bundle of measures. One important aspect is the continuous optimisation of all processes, most importantly by the use of intelligent software systems. In this way it is possible to compensate to some extent the general cost drivers such as energy, wages and salaries, and generally rising prices. Contargo is also in competition with other service suppliers and always tries to lead the field, not only in the quality of its services but by its reasonable prices.

Many factors have an input into the price calculation for the transport of containers. Some factors, such as water levels and fuel prices, are beyond the influence of Contargo.

Fuel Costs

Every car driver is familiar with fluctuating prices of petrol. Inland barge operators are subject to the same kind of variations. To ensure that our price structuring stays fair, we pass on the current prices to the customer in the form of a fuel surcharge. If the price of gasoil is high, our customers bear the additional load via an increased fuel surcharge, and if gasoil prices go down, we pass on this benefit to our customers in the form of a lower fuel surcharge.

One institution that finds acceptance throughout the transport sector is the Centraal Bureau voor ee Rijn- en Binnenvaart (CBRB) in the Netherlands. The purchase price per 100 litres of gasoil regularly ascertained by the CBRB in a market survey forms the basis for all carriers’ calculations when determining fuel surcharges. The CBRB informs its members and subscribers daily about changes in the price of gasoil and issues a monthly overview and a monthly average value. The price ascertained by the CBRB is the basic index for price calculations.

The fuel consumption of barges used by Contargo lies between 150 up to 400 litres per operating hour. For the actual fuel consumption of an inland barge, however, various other factors come into play as well as the purchase price of gasoil:

  • One determinant is distance. There is a direct and simple corrrespondence between the distance travelled and the fuel consumption.
  • Another determinant is the vessel’s direction. Upstream the barge has to work against the current and needs considerably more time, and therefore more fuel, to cover the same distance than when navigating the same stretch downstream. In canals, which generally have no current, this parameter can be discounted. And conditions in the watercourse (water level, draft, channel width) play a much greater role for inland barges than they do for seagoing vessels.
  • The weight of the load also influences fuel consumption: in the same conditions (with sufficient depth below the keel) the influence of the load is between 15 - 25%.
  • Speed is also a significant factor. As speed increases, energy consumption rises disproportionately (by a factor of 3 - 4).
  • Another relevant parameter is the build of the ship (barge train, single boater).

In theory it would be possible to include all these factors individually in calculations for each transported container, but in practice this would overcomplicated and very time-consuming. Contargo has therefore decided to include the factors of

  • fuel price
  • distance and
  • size and weight of the container

In the individual calculation of the fuel surcharge. The result is the "Bunker Adjustment Factor" (BAF) or bunker charge. The other relevant parameters form an input into the calculation of the price list.

Water levels

14 Aug 2022

Kaub 37 +1 LWS
Ruhrort 161 -5 LWS
Emmerich 9 -4 LWS

LWS information here

Energy surcharge

BAF Index


More Information here

TTFS Index


More Information here

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