Below is an update of the pilotage service charge proposals:
Pacific Pilotage Authority (PPA)
The PPA met recently with the Pilotage and West Coast District Committees to present their 2024 proposed service charges. Following a really strong year due to the bumper grain crop, the PPA have posted a $4M surplus in the first half of 2023 and have recently reduced the deficit recovery surcharge from $400 to $250 per assignment. Looking ahead to 2024, the PPA are proposing a 5% increase for the unit and hourly fees, 4% for launch fees and 3% for travel fees. The PPA are estimating a 2% reduction in assignments, inflation to be around 4%, and the elimination of the deficit recovery surcharge, which will result in a $1.43M deficit. The PPA continues to monitor the current grain crop and inflation rates and will continue dialogue with the Federation prior to publicizing their formal notice by October 1st for the rates to be effective January 1, 2024. This proposal will be reviewed at the upcoming West Coast District and Pilotage Committee meetings.
Atlantic Pilotage Authority (APA)
The APA met recently with the Pilotage Committee to present their 2024 proposed service charges. The APA are proposing an overall increase of 4.1% which is expected to generate a profit of $1.3M in 2024 following a 2023 estimated profit if $1.1M. Following the 2022 fatality of a deckhand during a pilot transfer in St. John’s, NL, the APA have increased their focus on safety in particular as it relates to pilot boats as they have an aging fleet of boats. To address this, the APA are building two new boats ($9.2M total for delivery in 2024), they are buying 2 used boats ($4.2M total for delivery in 2023/2024) and they may need to acquire assets in Canso due to frustrations with the current contractor. This proposal will be reviewed at the upcoming Pilotage Committee meeting.
United States Coast Guard Notice of Proposed Rule Making (USCG NPRM)
The United States Coast Guard recently issued their Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proposing new pilotage rates for the 2024 navigation season. The USCG are proposing to increase rates another 5% which would result in $1.9M in additional costs for the industry. This proposed rule provides the pilots with a target compensation of $442,403 per pilot ($18,005 increase, or 4.24 percent over 2023). The increase also is to support the apprentice pilot wage benchmark, adjusted operating expenses, and an increase in the revenue needed for the working capital fund. The Federation is reviewing this proposal as comments are due September 15.
Director, Marine Operations