The port tariffs will rise in the coming three years at half the rate of the inflation percentage, by a maximum of 1% per year. For 2015 this means specifically that the tariffs paid by seagoing ships calling at the port of Rotterdam will be subject to 1% indexation. The Port Authority will also take measures aimed at reinforcing the hub function and stimulating sustainable hinterland transport. It is the first time that the port tariffs will be set for a period of more than one year so that companies know what to expect in the coming years. This is what the Port of Rotterdam Authority decided following constructive consultation and their consent with the port business sector.
In the container sector the Port Authority is committed to increasing the number of transshipment containers. After they have arrived by seagoing ship, these containers are transported from the terminal directly by sea to another European port. The average port tariff for this kind of container is around €8.00. The current discount of €1.65 will be increased gradually to €5.00 per deep-sea container over the coming three years. The existing transshipment discount of €2.50 per container for feeder containers will be retained over the coming three years. The Port Authority wants to tempt the market to ship significantly more transshipment cargo via the port of Rotterdam this way. Container ships are given an extra stimulus to call at the port of Rotterdam twice whenever they come to Europe. When deep-sea (sailing between continents) container ships visit the second time, the tariff for the ship is only 25% of the normal tariff. This stimulates the largest, heavily loaded container ships to call at the port of Rotterdam first when they arrive in Northwest Europe so they can unload part of their cargo, then call at various other ports before coming back to Rotterdam in order to leave Europe fully loaded before their return to Asia.
As of 1 January 2015 a new liner tariff will be available for pure car carriers calling Rotterdam. This type of vessel will be included in the RoRo and RoPax liner tariff for vessels sailing in a liner schedule. This type of vessel calling Rotterdam in a sceduled service will have a 33% lower vessel tariff as compared to the former tariff.
The tariffs for tankers with crude oil will remain 1.5% below indexation every year for the coming three years. This means that the tariff will drop 0.5% in 2015. The Port Authority thus satisfies the refining sector which is structurally under considerable pressure from the strong competition on the global market.
Discount for extra low NOx emissions
The existing discount for clean ships, the Environmental Ship Index (ESI), will be continued. Ships which score 31 points on the index already receive a 10% discount on the ship part of the sea port tariff. That discount will be doubled if ships have relatively low nitrogen emissions. Ships must score at least 31 points on the NOx emission section of the ESI in order to achieve this discount. The discount fits seamlessly in the agreement recently entered into by the Port Authority, Deltalinqs and six nature and environmental organisations to cut back the nitrogen deposition in the Rijnmond region.
Last year Deltalinqs and the Port Authority agreed to spend a good €2 million specifically to stimulate transport by rail. A contribution towards the initial expenses of new rail connections is provided under the name ‘Railincubator’. It has been agreed to press ahead with this in the coming years in order to strengthen the ‘rail product’ of Rotterdam this way. Not only the container sector is considered here, but stimulation of transport of bulk goods by rail as well.
Different agreements have been made for inland shipping. The price of a subscription remains the same next year. The ports of Rotterdam, Dordrecht, Zwijndrecht and Papendrecht will form one administrative inland port area from 1 January. Skippers will then only need one subscription instead of two. Next year, together with the inland shipping sector, the Port Authority will examine how the inland port tariffs system can be further modernised. No long-term agreement has therefore been made with this sector.
Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority: ‘We fix the tariffs for three years and remain structurally below inflation. That is a clear sign to the market. Shipping companies know what they can expect in the port of Rotterdam. Furthermore, we respond specifically to current developments, especially in the container market and the refining sector.’
Steven Lak, Deltalinqs chairman: ‘Deltalinqs has argued for this strongly. Last year the occasional crisis discounts were turned into a structural element. The real port tariff will decrease over the coming years, step by step. It is a wise move of the Port Authority to continue to work on competitive port tariffs and other costs. This is good for further recovery and growth.’
Peter den Breejen, representative of the Association of Rotterdam Shipbrokers and Agents (VRC): ‘This long-term agreement which considers all sectors in the port provides clarity and space for further development. The VRC has emphasised the need to support the promising sectors, such as the feeder market, as well as to achieve an overall good result. That has been achieved.’
Margareth Hill, director of the Netherlands Petroleum Industry Association (VNPI): ‘The European refineries are in a difficult position. Everything which contributes to lowering our costs is important. This modest reduction of the port tariff for crude oil tankers is structural and cumulative. It helps the sector to continue to be competitive on the global market.’
The Port Authority, Deltalinqs and VNPI have fixed agreements about the way the amount of the sea port tariff is set every year. Through structured market consultation, the sector meets the government’s desire for self-regulation of the tariffs. This consultation includes inflation, market conditions and economic development among other things. The tariffs apply for the sea ports of Rotterdam, Schiedam, Vlaardingen, Maassluis, Dordrecht and Moerdijk.
Port tariffs are just one of the Port Authority’s sources of income and they are charged to the shipping companies that use Rotterdam. In 2013, the Port Authority received €288 million in sea port tariffs and €14 million in inland port tariffs. The other main source of income for the Port Authority, at €321 million, comes from site rental and site long-term leases.