Port Charges Calculation Methods for Bulk Carriers’ Outstanding Data Management in Bulk Shipping

By | 12/12/2014

How Should Outstanding Data Be Managed for Bulk Carriers?

It takes a great deal of time and money for bulk carriers to manage their outstanding data. Even if a lot of time and money are invested in the accurate management of outstanding data in bulk shipping, the task is very likely to have data left out if the work is done manually. In this essay, we are going to take a look at the types of outstanding data, and then, a closer look at the port charges calculation method through some actual cases.

Types of Outstanding Data in bulk shipping

The types of outstanding data that occurs mainly in the affairs of a bulk carrier are as follows.
- Port charge advance to port agents and balance.
- Owner’s account and charterer’s account as part of port charges.
- Off-Hire of affreighted or chartered ships.
- Brokerage-waived amount of time charterage paid for an affreighted ship.
- Suspense receipts and provisional payments that occur between a ship-owner and a shipper in bulk business.

Outstanding Data Related to Calculation of Port Charge Advance and Port Expenses

When a port agent provides services between a ship’s arrival to the port and its departure, a bulk carrier pays advance port charge to an agent for the port of arrival. Now, the port agent charges to the carrier the difference between the actual port charge and the advance. The employee of the carrier who receives a port charge voucher splits specifics of the occurred port charge into owner’s account and charterer’s account and keeps them in outstanding. When paying a hire (or time charterage), the employee of the carrier does so while referring to owner’s account, and when charging shipping cost, the employee totals charterer’s account and charges it to the shipper.

Outstanding Data Related to Calculation of Port Charge Advance and Port Expenses

Two Methods of Calculating Port Charge with a Port Agent

For accurate calculation of port charge with a port agent, one usually uses a bulk operating system like OPUS Bulk. And calculation methods are divided into voyage-specific calculation and time-specific calculation.

1) Voyage-Specific Calculation

- The method consists in calculating the balance between port charge and advance port charge for each voyage.
- It is applied to a port which a ship arrives to irregularly.

2) Time-Specific Calculation

- The method consists in calculating the balance between total port charge and total advance port charge for a specific point of time.
- It is applied when a carrier-owned ship regularly and frequently arrives to a port.
- The method reduces time required for calculation and shortens the company process and bank deposit/withdrawal for the calculated balance (account receivable/account payable).
< An example of port charges calculation>
An example of port charges calculation in bulk shipping 

Posted by Seung-Hee Seo, a Business strategist, who has made business plans and researched the maritime industry including container and bulk shipping.  

Have something to say about managing outstanding data or want to know more about the port charges calculation? Leave a comment below. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.