Tugboats for the whole of Europe

The FAIRPLAY TOWAGE shipping company 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 100 years. In addition to towage services purely in harbour, we are also active worldwide with seagoing tugs, offshore and salvage business.


FAIRPLAY 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).

Our history

Tradition since 1905
Fairplay Towagecelebrates its 100th Anniversary
Fairplay Towagebecomes 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 Towagepurchases the marine business of the Szczecin-based former Porta Holding Group. The company is renamed ‘Project Zegluga’ and starts harbor towage operation in Szczecin in 2004 in direct competition with the established towage provider.
Fairplay TowageFAIRPLAY 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 TowageFAIRPLAY takes advantage of the European economic liberalisation and starts harbour towage operations in the Port of Rotterdam.
Fairplay TowageFAIRPLAY 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 TowageFAIRPLAY 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 TowageFAIRPLAY orders the first state-of-the-art Schottel Tractor Tug „FAIRPLAY II“, first in a series of four similar ships delivered until 1984.
Fairplay Towageenters into worldwide deep-sea towage and international salvage; this milestone is marked by commissioning of Fairplay´s first deepsea tug FAIRPLAY X
Fairplay Towagere-establishes the „Joint Tugboat Service“ pre-war service patterns
Fairplay TowageIs a founding member of the first „Joint Tugboat Service“ in Hamburg which offers shipowners uninterupted services 24hrs a day, 365 days a year
Fairplay TowageThe management structure changes after the untimely death of the company`s founder. Richard Borchardt`s wife Lucy and their son Kurt take over.
Fairplay TowageThe 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 Towageis 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 Towagereceives 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 Towageestablishes FAIRPLAY TOWAGE POLSKA under which all FAIRPLAY activities in Poland are combined.
Fairplay Towagewelcomes 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 Towagewelcomes 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

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.
Fairplay Towage

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.

Quality management and certificates

Since 1998 our quality management system has been certified by Lloyd’s Register and today according to ISO 9001:2008. We are both Achilles and Connexio approved. In 2006 FAIRPLAY was awarded the ISO 14001:2004 environmental certificate, which commits us to particularly environmentally friendly procedures and working methods.

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.