A ship incurs numerous costs during a voyage. Among the costs are the following :

  • Operational costs (if she is being operated by her owner); daily hire costs if being chartered;
  • Fuel costs (heavy fuel oil, marine diesel oil and lubricating oil.) A ship with conventional propulsion will use heavy fuel oil mostly when at sea as this is used in the main engine. Marine diesel oil (or gasoil) is used in the ship’s generators all the time to generate electricity for lighting, electronic systems, pumps, cranes, air conditioning, refrigeration, etc.
  • Port dues are charged for the time the vessel is in port.
  • Crane usage
  • Pilotage, tug and berthing charges
  • Port agent’s fees. These are charged as a percentage of the costs incurred in port.
  • Stevedoring fees, if cargo is being worked.
  • Fees imposed by immigration, customs or port health services
  • Light dues (In South Africa, a ship pays these dues once every six months. Funds collected like this are used to maintain navigation aids along the coast and in the approaches to harbours.)
  • South African Maritime Safety Authority levy (in South African ports)
  • Canal or waterway tariffs
  • In some areas, an insurance surcharge might be payable if the ship is entering an area where piracy occurs or where some type of conflict is occurring. The ship may have armed guards aboard, and a fee will be payable for them.
  • Costs of shoreside teams searching for stowaways aboard


Test yourself

The Capesize ore carrier Pedro T has been chartered to move iron ore from Saldanha Bay to Rotterdam. Her details are as follows :

Her charter is for three laden trips (and therefore 2 ballast back-haul voyages) between Saldanha Bay and Rotterdam.

The daily charter rate is $19500.

She will use 62 tons of heavy fuel oil a day when at sea or at anchor.

She will use 3 tons of marine diesel oil every day.

The charter of Pedro T will begin at 00:01 on 03 March on arrival off Saldanha Bay.

She is expected to anchor off Saldanha Bay for the first two days before she begins loading. (Surveyors will also do pre-loading surveys during this time.)

She will berth in Saldanha Bay at 12:00 on 5 March

She will sail from Saldanha Bay at 12:00 on 07 March

She will arrive at Rotterdam at 12:00 on 29 March

She will be in Rotterdam for 6 days discharging plus one day for hold cleaning and minor repairs

She will sail from Rotterdam at 12:00 on 5 April.

She will arrive off Saldanha Bay at 12:00 on 27 April.

Bunker costs : HFO $276 per ton

Bunker costs :  MDO $486 per ton

Port Costs: Saldanha Bay $30 000 per day

Port Costs:  Rotterdam $38 000 per day

Pilotage, tugs & berthing: Saldanha Bay $20 000

Pilotage, tugs & berthing: Rotterdam $40 000

Sundry costs for the voyage             $246 000

Note :   The first voyage begins with her arrival off Saldanha Bay and ends when she arrives back off Saldanha Bay. (It includes all days that she was at anchor, days she spent in Rotterdam and days at sea.)

  1. Calculate the number of days she is expected to take to steam from Saldanha Bay to Rotterdam.                                                            
  2. Calculate the number of days that Voyage 1 is expected to take i.e. from her arrival off Saldanha Bay to her return to Saldanha Bay.                                                                                    
  3. Refer to details given above, For her first voyage, calculate :

3.1   the expected daily hire cost                                                                                       

3.2   the expected fuel costs                                                                                                           

3.3   the expected port costs                                                                                                           

3.4   the expected total costs for her first voyage                                                                

  1. Calculate the expected total cost of Petros J’s voyages, i.e. two return voyages from Saldanha Bay to Rotterdam and one loaded voyage to Rotterdam. Remember that the charter ends on the last day when her holds are being cleaned in Rotterdam.