2023 Ports price monitoring report

The Commission has released the 2023 Ports Price Monitoring Report, providing information on price movements for Essential Maritime Services (EMS) and Pilotage Services across six of Flinders Ports Pty Ltds’ (Flinders Ports') commercial ports.

The report shows that the average prices for EMS and Pilotage Services have both increased in 2023-24. 

For EMS, the key drivers underpinning the price increases from 1 July 2023 were associated with the Enterprise Bargaining Agreements, along with the continued recovery of costs associated with the implementation of a vessel tracking system through navigational service charges. The increase in Navigational services charge is also due to the recovery of costs incurred by Flinders Ports in undertaking hydrographic surveys of the channels, berths and waterways at all main shipping ports in South Australia.

Flinders Ports has historically absorbed the associated hydrographic survey costs and as a result excluded them from the composition of costs that are recoverable under the navigational services charge. The increase in Navigational Services for 2023-24 reflects the one-off adjustment to Flinders Ports’ cost base.

For Pilotage Services, the key drivers were increased wage costs, and capital costs associated with Flinders Ports’ construction of new pilot vessels. 

For both EMS and Pilotage Services, indirect operating costs also contributed to these price increases, particularly in the areas of work health and safety, insurance and information and communications technology.

Port services price increase 2023-24a

 Type Port service Overall price increase percentage

Essential Maritime Services (EMS)

 Cargo   7.1
 Navigational 19.8
 Harbour  Fixed component  7.7
Variable component 7.9
Channel levy (apply to Port Adelaide only) Grain  4.7
Containers b 7.9
 Pilotage 8.0

a The prices presented in this table are aggregated groupings of a number of charges. Flinders Ports’ current pricing schedule.

b Channel levy applies only to full containers loaded and discharged at the Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal.

Ports users are able to negotiate commercial prices with Flinders Ports. The standard price increases may therefore not be reflective of the actual prices paid by all ports users.