Marine Transportation Services (MTS) is charging an additional 24 per cent in fuel surcharge for freight this year, citing an increase in global fuel costs.
The change is noted in a footnote in an MTS document outlining 2022 cargo rates.
Based in Hay River, N.W.T., MTS is a government-owned barge company that services remote communities that are generally inaccessible to year-round road access, like Norman Wells, Kugluktuk, Paulatuk, Lutsel K'e, and Inuvik.
For many of these remote communities, annual barge deliveries are a lifeline that transports essential goods, including food, supplies, and gas. The cost of living is also among the highest in the country, largely due to the associated costs of transportation.
The price of gas is currently soaring, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine adding strain on supply chains. A recent article by CBC noted that there are several other factors driving the upward trend, including the price of crude oil.
The department of infrastructure, which oversees MTS, confirmed the increase in fuel surcharge, but was unable to make someone available for comment prior to deadline.
The department also confirmed that the barge company has posted a bid to contract out marine cargo transportation throughout the territory.