Annual report 4.4.2024

Savings could not counter the decline in pilotage demand, resulting in a financial loss for the year

Finnpilot’s year was coloured by the continuation of Russia’s war on Ukraine and its impact on the number of pilotage assignments. Finland’s decelerated economic growth was reflected in the lower volumes of vessel traffic and, correspondingly, in the decreased demand for pilotage services. Saint Petersburg no longer attracted cruise ships to the Gulf of Finland and transit traffic was minimal. In early 2023, a stevedore strike lasting more than two weeks was also carried out, which further weakened Finnpilot’s finances. Finnpilot ended the year with a financial loss of EUR 3.6 million.

Finnpilot responded to the decrease in pilotage assignments by initiating a savings programme focusing on savings in transport and personnel costs. Savings in fuel costs were achieved by reducing driving speeds and combining pilot transports. The investment programme was adjusted to correspond to the current financial situation by postponing non-mandatory investments. Transport resources were utilised more efficiently by increasing the mobility of pilot boat operators between stations. Change negotiations concerning the entire personnel were conducted in autumn 2023 and the result was that Finnpilot will seek to achieve savings equivalent to a total of 17.5 person-years during 2024. The cost impact of the savings will be approximately EUR 1.3 million. The total number of employees decreased from 320 at the end of 2022 to 288 persons (31 December 2023).

Pilots boarded vessels to be piloted a total of 17,396 times (2022: 20 315), piloting a total of 300,748 nautical miles (2022: 351,708). Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd’s turnover for the financial period of 2023 was EUR 30.9 million (2022: EUR 34.5 million) and the net profit was EUR -3.6 million (2022: EUR -0.9 million).

The new Pilotage Act entered into force on 1 September 2023 and introduced changes that promote maritime safety, such as changes to compulsory pilotage, pilot and PEC qualifications and parties that assess the examinations for these qualifications. During 2023, Finnpilot focused on updating its processes and services to correspond to the demands of the new Pilotage Act. The Pilotage Act specifies the certificate requirements of a person assessing pilotage demonstrations and simulator tests as part of pilot and PEC examinations. The pilotage company must ensure that it has a sufficient number of trained individuals for this purpose. Finnpilot trained personnel in all pilotage areas to be able to perform the necessary examination-related assessments.

The company continued progressing towards its target to halve overall emissions (Scope 1–3) by 2030 (in comparison to the figures for 2021). Finnpilot’s overall emissions in 2023 totalled 4,398 tCO2e (2022: 5,067 tCO2e). Fuel consumption was reduced significantly by altering driving methods and lowering speeds. This brought savings in fuel costs during an otherwise economically challenging year. Two new interseasonal boats were completed for use. These more energy-efficient vessels can be used during the open water season as well as during periods of light ice conditions. During mild winters, this may reduce the need for higher fuel consumption boats intended for winter conditions at those stations around which the sea freezes less frequently.

Pilotage plays a critical role for the security of supply of Finnish society and this role has become further emphasised within the current security situation. The pilotage company’s obligation to prepare for emergencies is also regulated even more specifically by the new Pilotage Act. During the year, the company focused on updating the contingency and continuity planning so as to correspond to the current global political situation.

Finnpilot’s pilot, pilot boat operators and pilot dispatchers made a total of 687 anomaly observations, a portion of which were also reported to the authorities. Relaying information to the authorities early on may, in the best case scenario, prevent significant damage to the environment and people.

Read more in Finnpilot’s Annual Report >>

Further information:

Kari Kosonen, CEO,, tel. +358 40 741 4625
Timo Siren, Financial Director,, tel. +358 40 145 9848

Pilotage is a vital part of the chain of logistics required for Finland’s international trade and security of supply. Many essential goods are transported by sea and the passage of cargo must be assured, also in possible times of serious disturbances. The added safety that pilotage provides within Finland’s narrow archipelago fairways is pivotal in terms of preventing accidents. The pilot is a vital local advisor to the shipmaster who provides navigational assistance to vessels sailing along the fairways and increasingly ensures safe harbour manoeuvring.

Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd is a special assignment company entirely owned by the State that provides pilotage services in all Finnish fairways requiring pilotage. The costs accrued by the organisation of pilotage activities and maintenance of the national service network are covered by charged pilotage fees.

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