8 percent increase in pilotage fees as of 1 January 2024
Finnpilot wants to ensure the availability and flexibility of its pilotage services, also during periods of uncertainty.
The pilotage fees will be increased as of 1 January 2024 by 8.0% along the coastline and in Saimaa. The increase will be implemented by raising the basic and mileage-based pilotage fees. The fees related to other aspects of the pilotage process, such as the standby, cancellation and order transfer fees, will remain the same. The price level in the Saimaa region for the coming year will remain at 26% of the pilotage fee charged in coastal waters. Despite the decline in traffic as a result of Russia’s war on Ukraine, the pilotage company is still committed to its obligation to provide service in the Saimaa region.
Increase due to changes in the operating environment
The development of Finland’s international import and export volumes significantly affects vessel traffic and the number of pilotage assignments. The security policy situation caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine has created insecurity, particularly in terms of the development of export markets. According to Etla’s import and export forecasts, economic growth is not to be expected until the end of 2024 at the earliest.
The number of pilotage assignments has decreased in 2023 by approximately 12% compared to the previous year. During the summer months, the pilotage volume fell by as much as 20% and the decrease equally affected all pilotage areas. The number of ships making stops in Finnish ports also dropped significantly during the current year. The share of piloted traffic remained the same, at approximately 24% of all port visits in Finland.
The final number of pilotage assignments in 2023 is forecasted to be 17,500, as compared to 20,315 pilotage assignments in 2022. This figure is expected to rise to about 18,500 in 2024. Saimaa’s freight traffic has come to a complete standstill as a result of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and there is no expectation that it would pick up in 2024.
The costs of pilotage reflect the price hike for fuel and energy and, in particular, the transition to renewable fuel. The company’s achievement of its emission reduction target (-50% of the overall emissions by 2030) calls for an increase in the use of renewable fuel at a rate of about 5 per cent per year. Cost impacts of collective bargaining agreements, increases in employer fees, contractual increases and inflation have also been taken into consideration in the level of the pilotage fees.
Finnpilot has responded to the decline in pilotage assignments by initiating a savings programme that focuses on decreasing fuel and personnel costs. Fuel costs have been saved by reducing driving speeds and combining pilot transports. The total number of personnel has been reduced from 320 at the end of 2022 to 294 (Sep 29, 2023). The company has also invested in the flexibility of its human resources. The company’s investment programme has been adjusted to correspond to the current financial situation by postponing non-mandatory investments. The implementation of the savings programme will continue in 2024.
Pilotage pricing will be reviewed biannually moving forward
Unlike the previous law, the new Pilotage Act, which entered into force on 1 September 2023, facilitates a biannual review of pilotage service prices. The new prices can become effective, at the earliest, six months from the previous effective price changes. If the prices need to be revised again during the year, a discussion with customers will begin three months before the planned price increase.
Prices for examination-related services also published
By virtue of the new Pilotage Act, the assessment of pilotage and PEC examinations will be assigned to persons approved by The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom and who have long-term experience sailing as a pilot or with a PEC. The law obligates Finnpilot to offer services related to pilotage and PEC examinations. Finnpilot has trained personnel in all pilotage areas to be able to perform the necessary assessments related to the examination process. Finnpilot will provide more information on the content of the examination-related services and order instructions during October.
The new pilotage fee charts as well as the examination fees can be found online at Pilotage fees >>
The increase to the pilotage fees was decided by the Board of Directors of Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd. at its meeting on 28 September 2023.
Kari Kosonen, CEO, email@example.com, tel. +358 40 741 4625
Timo Siren, Financial Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 40 145 9848