More than 150 years of experience with tugboats

The FAIRPLAY TOWAGE GROUP shipping company consisting of FAIRPLAY TOWAGE and BUGSIER is one of Europe’s leading tugboat companies. We control our operations from Hamburg and from offices in Rotterdam, Antwerp, Rostock, Szczecin, Świnoujście and Gdynia. Our experience is based on a history of more than 150 years. In addition to towage services purely in harbour, we are also active worldwide with seagoing tugs, offshore and salvage business.


FAIRPLAY TOWAGE GROUP is a global long distance towage operator with many years of experience in the oil and gas industry in West Africa, Europe and off the coast of Angola. We are a reliable partner in the towing of oil rigs and jack-ups and in the support of  FPSO (floating production storage and offloading units).

We rely on innovative technology without neglecting the classic maritime techniques. Be it our lifting ships the Endurance and the Energy, which were involved in clearing the Suez Canal, or our legendary ocean-going tugs the Arctic and the Oceanic. Our company designed and operates the world’s most modern emergency tugboat, the Nordic and the Baltic, which went into service in 2011. The ship has been chartered by the German government until 2021 and ensures the safety of the German Bight.

Our history

Tradition since 1866
Fairplay Towage GroupOdiel Towage the newly founded company in Las Palmas/Spain receives its license in March.
Fairplay Towage Groupcelebrates its 100th Anniversary
Fairplay Towage Groupbecomes 50% shareholder of the Belgian towage provider ‘URS’ Antwerp. In 2007 FAIRPLAY exchanges its 50% share in URS for shares in global towage provider ‘SMIT Internationale NV’. All ‘Smit’ shares are finally sold in 2008
Fairplay Towage GroupFAIRPLAY charters FAIRPLAY-25 and FAIRPLAY-26 as Emergency Towing Vessels (ETVs) to the German government. Stationed in Rostock and Sassnitz, these tugs form part of the German Coastal Protection Scheme.
Fairplay Towage GroupFAIRPLAY takes advantage of the European economic liberalisation and starts harbour towage operations in the Port of Rotterdam.
Fairplay Towage GroupFAIRPLAY starts building a series of six modern ASD-Schottel tugs with bollard pulls from 52 to 65 tons designed for harbour- and coastal towages as well as offshore work. All six tugs are commissioned between 1998 and 2001.
Fairplay Towage GroupFAIRPLAY establishes an office in Rostock with additional small offices in Wismar, Stralsund and Wolgast. With this market entry FAIRPLAY introduces modern tractor-tugs in the Baltic Ports of re-unified Germany.
Fairplay Towage GroupFAIRPLAY orders the first state-of-the-art Schottel Tractor Tug „FAIRPLAY II“, first in a series of four similar ships delivered until 1984.
Fairplay Towage Groupenters into worldwide deep-sea towage and international salvage; this milestone is marked by commissioning of Fairplay´s first deepsea tug FAIRPLAY X
Fairplay Towage Groupre-establishes the „Joint Tugboat Service“ pre-war service patterns
Fairplay Towage GroupIs a founding member of the first „Joint Tugboat Service“ in Hamburg which offers shipowners uninterupted services 24hrs a day, 365 days a year
Fairplay Towage GroupThe management structure changes after the untimely death of the company`s founder. Richard Borchardt`s wife Lucy and their son Kurt take over.
Fairplay Towage GroupThe fleet consists of 13 tugs at the beginning of the First World War. These are in operation in Hamburg at the Elbe ports as well as on the entire German coast.
Fairplay Towage Groupis established in Hamburg by Mr. Richard Borchardt. The company quickly prospers with port- and coastal-towages in Hamburg on the River Elbe and the Baltic as well as with professional salvage-operations
Fairplay Towage Groupreceives the new ETV „BALTIC „for the ARGE Küstenschutz“ from shipbuilder Astilleros Armon, Vigo. ETV „BALTIC“ is on charter to the German Goverment since September 2010. The ETV is stationed in Rostock. In January 2011 ETV „NORDIC“, built at Peenewerft Wolgast/Germany is delivered to the ARGE Küstenschutz and commences its charter for the German Goverment.
Fairplay Towage Groupestablishes FAIRPLAY TOWAGE POLSKA under which all FAIRPLAY activities in Poland are combined.
Fairplay Towage Groupwelcomes the new tugs FAIRPLAY III, FAIRPLAY I, FAIRPLAY XIV and FAIRPLAY X, all identical sister tugs with 70 tons bollard pull ordered in Spain. The tugs are employed in Hamburg, Rotterdam and Antwerp.
Fairplay Towage Groupwelcomes the new tugs FAIRPLAY III, FAIRPLAY I, FAIRPLAY XIV and FAIRPLAY X, all identical sister tugs with 70 tons bollard pull ordered in Spain. The tugs are employed in Hamburg, Rotterdam and Antwerp
Fairplay Towage Group

Intensified activities in Poland

FAIRPLAY establishes Fairplay Towage Sp.z o.o. in Szczecin/Poland


BUGSIER- Bugsier-, Reederei- und Bergungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG merges with FAIRPLAY TOWAGE on November 8, but will remain as a traditional company with its own name in the group of companies.

On behalf of the Federal Government

As part of the activities in the Working Group Coastal Protection, the emergency tugs "BALTIC" (2010) and "NORDIC" (2011) are put into service. These are chartered by the federal government.

Tug under full control

Complete takeover and integration of T & S Transport and Service GmbH & Co. KG by BUGSIER.

Mooring services

New task: With the BUGSIER Mooring Service BUGSIER is taking over the mooring services in Bremerhaven.

Suez Canal: renewed use

The BUGSIER cranes "Thor" and "Roland" participate in the second evacuation of the Suez Canal.
BugsierOrders are placed for the famous "Deepsea" towage tugs "Oceanic" and "Arctic".

Suez Canal navigable again

Great use: with the lifting vessels „Energie“ und Ausdauer“, the BUGSIER-Reeerei clears the Suez Canal in winter 1956/57.

The family is in charge

The shipowner family Schuchmann from Geestermünde/Bremerhaven acquires the majority of the shares of the Bugsier-, Reederei- und Bergungs­ AG.

Growth makes you strong

Merger with A.G. Leichtergesellschaft resulting in Hamburg "Vereinigte Bugsier und Frachtschifffahrt.

Birth hour

Formation corporation Vereinigte Bugsier-Dampfschiff-Gesellschaft.
Fairplay Towage Group

Moving into the new corporate headquarters

In July, the FAIRPLAY TOWAGE GROUP moves to the 14th floor of the Tower am Michel. Overlooking Hafen, the new central administrative headquarters in Ludwig-Erhard-Straße 22 offers an excellent view of the Hanseatic city.


Welcome to Fairplay Towage Group, a respected industry leader known for our unwavering commitment to excellence.
With ISO 9001 certification since 1998, ISO 14001 certification since 2006, ISO 50001 certification since 2011,
and ISO 45001 certification since 2023, we prioritize quality, environmental sustainability, energy management, and occupational health and safety to deliver exceptional services while ensuring the well-being of our customers and employees.

We value environmental and quality management systems that can be followed by our teams on board and ashore. Successful audits carried out regularly by our offshore clients show that this is successful. FAIRPLAY’s offshore tugs are also all audited to the OVID standard. With these systems for quality and environmental protection we work according to standards accepted within the offshore industry.