During 2019, Finnpilot handled a total of 25,123 pilot assignments covering 471,298 piloted nautical miles. The number of assignments decreased by 1.9% and the number of piloted nautical miles by 2.8% in comparison to the previous year. The number of pilotage assignments in the Saimaa region decreased by 22% from the previous year.
According to the tonnage-based statistics, the number of transports in the Saimaa region also decreased by a corresponding amount. The pilotage assignments in coastal waters increased by nearly one percent in comparison to 2018. The increase in assignments was reported in Kotka and Hanko, where pilotage services were required for vessels participating in the building of the Nord Stream gas pipeline. The calculated market share of piloted traffic, for all vessels visiting Finland’s coastal harbours, was 35.4% (2018: 35.1%)
Finnpilot’s cost-efficient operational model and the positive development in the number of pilotage assignments made it possible to retain the same pilotage prices for the years 2017–2019. The pilotage fees will be moderately increased from the start of 2020.
The pilotage fees cover costs necessary for the organisation of pilotage activities and upkeep of the national service network. The company must also ensure the sufficiency of incoming funds in order to continue its operational development and investments. The basic pilotage fee for coastal waters will increase by an average of 40 euro in 2020. The price level in the Saimaa region will remain at 26% of the pilotage fee charged in coastal waters.
The increase will be implemented by raising the basic pilotage fee. The mile-based fees will remain the same. The basic fee for large vessels will increase more than small vessels in terms of the euro amount.
Finnpilot provides its customers with consistent and reliable pilotage services in all pilotage areas. In accordance with the Pilotage Act, pilotage fees shall be reasonable considering the costs incurred and a reasonable return. The pilotage fee is based on a fixed unit price and is determined based on the tonnage of the vessel in question and the distance to be piloted. In accordance with the company’s service level objectives, the waiting time for pilotage service is no more than three hours in coastal waters and six hours in the Saimaa region. Altogether 99.9% of all pilotage assignments were carried out within the limits set for our service level objectives.
Pilotage activities in the Saimaa region are governed by the obligation to provide financially unprofitable services, so the pilotage fees in these areas are based on a reduced unit price.
In Finland, pilotage services are priced at a very reasonable level when compared internationally. Finnpilot has been tracking the international pricing of pilotage services since 2005. Our price level is extremely reasonable, also when considered in an international comparison of pilotage prices between Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Denmark, Norway, Germany and the Netherlands. Despite Finland’s difficult ice conditions and expansive coastline, we proved to be the least expensive country in the 2019 survey, which is definite proof of the efficiency of our operational model. On the basis of the confirmed pilotage fees for 2020, we still remain the most inexpensive country in international comparison.