Port Restrictions and High Barge Charges: Causing Costs to Spiral

Press Release
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Alex Taylor

Port delivery restrictions to ships are forcing ship suppliers to use barges for the supply of ship stores – resulting in hundreds of pounds of increased logistic costs, warns the UK’s leading ships chandler Hutton’s.


Restrictions are enforced for a number of reasons, including security, safety and weight limits. Meanwhile barge costs are rising with the charges becoming prohibitive at some ports. Hutton’s warns the problem is an issue worldwide and especially prevalent on continental Europe where barge supply has become commonplace.

“Ship operators are already under pressure to save costs and high barge fees put further burdens on their stretched budgets,” warns Hutton’s Managing Director Alex Taylor, a member of both the British Association of Ship Suppliers (BASS) and the International Ship Suppliers and Services Association (ISSA).

He advises vessel operators to factor in barge transfer costs when planning port calls to ensure transfer costs for ship supplies and spares are managed efficiently. Strategically selecting supply ports can result in a significant reduction to logistic costs when taking into account high barge costs which can reach £1,500 ($2,500).

“There are still some ports where shore to ship supply is possible, especially in the UK, and we advise our customers to use these whenever possible,” says Mr Taylor. “Careful planning when ordering stores can eliminate the additional costs of a launch or barge and the savings can be considerable.”

As part of Hutton’s commitment to helping its customers keep costs to a minimum the company has produced a chart clearly showing the delivery restrictions at UK ports and this is displayed on its website. “This service is key to operators reducing costs” explains Alex Taylor “Our extensive branch network covers all UK ports so we are uniquely placed to be able to provide our customers with expert advice on where they can efficiently transfer stores and spares at the most cost effective locations for them.”

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