What happens in times of low water level?

The problem

If there are prolonged periods of low water levels, inland shipping faces major problems. The reason: falling water levels lead to a decrease in the loading capacity of ships. Conversely, this means that more ship space must be provided for the same amount of cargo. Costs also rise, as not only is the utilization of existing ships reduced, but the chartering of additional space also becomes an issue. The further the water level falls, the more expensive the additional space becomes. To cover these kinds of costs, so-called “small water surcharges” are needed above a certain water level.

Here we are given facts by nature as well as by the ship charter market, which we have to take into account. For all parties involved in container transport, the regulations create a fair business basis and thus we can also transport your containers at low water times. Our low water surcharges are based on the actual weight of the containers. Conversely, this also means that from a certain very low water level, the costs are calculated per container and not per TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit).


Ships are not blocked due to low water levels. From a certain point onwards, it will only become uneconomical to transport further containers. Since from a corresponding very low water level the conditions and the situation on the charter market must be completely re-evaluated in each case, we will calculate and announce the surcharges from this water level onwards in accordance with the current conditions in each case. Transport cancellations are possible at this situation, which depends on our available capacities.

Apart from the situation you can rely on us. Your containers will reach their destination safely. If there is no other way, we are flexible and switch to other transport routes.

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