Fees and costs during port call

What are the estimated port fees and other costs associated with the vessel’s call in a given port? How can one find get these information and verify that they are accurate or reasonable?

Determining the associated costs for a vessel’s visit to a particular port, also known as port charges, involves a multitude of variables. These factors range from the port itself, the vessel’s characteristics, the length of its stay, and even the types of services utilized while in port.

You can expect to encounter costs like harbor dues, pilotage, towage, mooring, waste management, and potentially administrative costs as well. Additional costs can also accrue based on any extra services utilized during the port stay, such as power, water, or repair facilities.

Here are several methods you can use to ascertain these charges:

  1. Review Port Tariff Documentation: The most straightforward way to obtain this information is by consulting the tariff documentation provided by the port. This documentation, which is typically available on the port’s official website, will detail all relevant charges. For instance, you can find the port dues tariff for the Singapore Port on their official Maritime and Port Authority website here. Similarly, the Port of Rotterdam also provides its port dues tariffs on their website. If this information isn’t readily available, it may be necessary to reach out to the port authority directly.
  2. Utilize Agent Services: Shipping agents, given their frequent interaction with these processes, often have up-to-date information on the various charges levied by ports. These agents could provide you with an informed estimate of the costs.
  3. Engage with Shipping Companies or Associations: These entities often have access to historical data, which can provide insights into the costs involved.
  4. Seek Assistance from Maritime Consultancy Firms: Certain firms specialize in providing maritime consultancy services. They can offer more precise cost estimates and help determine if the costs are fair.

Keep in mind that the real cost may exceed or fall short of the estimated cost due to factors like tariff changes, delays, or unexpected service requirements. It’s advisable to allow for some additional expenses in your budget.

The estimated port fees and other costs associated with a vessel’s call at a specific port can include wharfage, pilotage, mooring, berthing, tug assistance, and port agency fees. Port costs are subject to variability based on the port’s location, the vessel’s size, cargo type, and the length of the stay. Information about these costs can be found by contacting the local port authority, maritime service providers, or through online maritime databases such as port costs calculators, which often provide up-to-date, comprehensive data. To verify their accuracy or reasonableness, it is advisable to compare the rates with other similar ports or seek advice from industry experts, maritime consultants, or shipping associations.

Here are the average estimates for the top 10 most common port fees:

  1. Port Dues: Port dues can range from $0.50 to $10 per gross ton (GT) or net ton (NT) of the vessel, depending on the port and the vessel’s size.

  2. Pilotage Fees: Pilotage fees may vary based on the port, vessel size, and distance traveled. On average, pilotage fees can range from $200 to $800 per vessel call.

  3. Berth Charges: Berth charges are usually calculated based on the vessel’s size, duration of stay, and specific berth location within the port. Average estimates can range from $100 to $500 per day.

  4. Anchorage Fees: Anchorage fees, when applicable, are generally lower than berthing charges. The average range is between $50 and $200 per day.

  5. Tug Assistance: Tug assistance fees are determined by the number of tugs required and the duration of their services. On average, tug fees can range from $300 to $1,000 per tug per hour.

  6. Port Security Charges: Port security charges can vary significantly. They can range from $50 to $200 per vessel call, depending on the port and the security measures in place.

  7. Waste Disposal Fees: Waste disposal fees are typically charged based on the volume or weight of waste generated by the vessel. Average estimates range from $100 to $500 per call.

  8. Mooring and Unmooring Fees: Mooring and unmooring fees, if applicable, can range from $100 to $300 per call, depending on the port and the level of assistance required.

  9. Port Agency Fees: Port agency fees are negotiated between the vessel owner/operator and the port agent. These fees can vary based on the services provided and are typically a percentage, around 1-3% of the vessel’s port expenses

  10. Additional Services: The costs of additional services such as fresh water supply, provisioning, repairs, and shore personnel assistance can vary significantly depending on the specific requirements of the vessel. It’s best to inquire about these services individually as per the vessel’s needs.