Forth Estuary Towage

Forth Estuary Towage (FET) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Forth Ports. The company can trace its roots back to 1895 where it was originally started as the Grangemouth & Forth Towing Co. Ltd. The company undertook towage in Grangemouth and Bo’ness, and as far south as Berwick.

Forth Estuary Towage as it exists today, came into being in November 1981. FET is now one of just 3 companies licenced to operate tugs on the River Forth and in its associated ports and terminals. It is also the sole provider of towage, escort, and standby services to the Braefoot terminal and the ports of Rosyth and Leith. In addition, FET serves the smaller ports of Methil, Kirkcaldy, and Burntisland, as well as Methil Energy Park.

The FET fleet consists of four vessels, ranging from smaller, highly-manoeuvrable Voith Schneider tugs with Bollard Pulls of 19 to 50 tonnes, to a modern state-of-the-art Azimuth Stern Drive Terminal tug, at 70 tonnes Bollard Pull. All FET tugs are ISM compliant, and FET also holds ISO 50001 and ISO 14001 on Energy and Environment as well as OHSAS 18001 as part of Forth Ports.

Services Provided

With the exception of Grangemouth and Hound Point, FET is the only operator licensed to provide towage at all ports and terminals on the Forth. In addition, FET can offer standby, passive and active escort, and fire-fighting.

Team and Expertise

FET has a dedicated team of tug crews who are highly experienced in towage operations on the river Forth and its ports and terminals, benefiting from valuable local knowledge. In addition to standard vessel operations, our crews also have expertise in moving dead ships, barges and structures. Recent high-profile projects have included moving the sections and completed vessels for aircraft carriers Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales, as well as barge work during construction of the Queensferry Crossing.


The current towage tariff can be found here. For rates relating to specialised vessels and barges please contact the Marine Services Resource Manager (see contact details below).

Tug Fleet Info Sheets:

  • Tug Fleet - Fidra
  • Tug Fleet - Oxcar
  • Tug Fleet - Inchcolm
  • Tug Fleet - Craigleith

Ports with Forth Estuary Towage Services:

  • Leith (Edinburgh)
  • Rosyth
  • Fife Ports

Key Contacts

Theo Currie
Marine Services Resource Manager
Forth Estuary Towage
Marine Administration Building
Leith Docks

+44 (0)131 555 8915

Alan McPherson
Chief Harbour Master
Forth & Tay Navigation
South Shore Road

+44 (0)1324 668 400