Source: Ports Regulator of South Africa Container Port Tariff Comparator Study (2012).
There are four main port cost components dealing with the harbor side and the land side of port operations:
- Terminal Handling Charges (THC). The fee collected by terminal operators from shipping lines, who in turn recover from shippers the terminals costs (loading or unloading) and other related costs borne by the shipping lines at the port of shipment or destination. The shippers at the origin port of shipment are responsible for paying the THC to the terminal operator at the loading port. The consignees are responsible for paying the freight rate and the THC (or equivalent) to the terminal operator at the destination port. Terminal handling charges for exports are usually collected by shipping lines while releasing the Bill of Lading after completing export customs clearance procedures. Shipping lines collect the import terminal handling charges when issuing the delivery order to the consignee to take delivery of goods.
- Cargo Dues (also known as Wharfage). The fee levied by the port authority to the users (exporters, importers, or shipping lines) for the provision and maintenance of harbor infrastructure supporting cargo movements such as quays, access roads, railway lines, lighting, and bulk services (outside terminal boundaries). This fee is generally fixed and published as an official tariff.
- Port Dues. A charge levied by the port to all entering ships and is generally calculated on the gross registered tonnage of the ship based upon its tonnage certificate. It reflects the provision and maintenance of harbor infrastructures such as entrance channels, breakwaters, turning basins, maintenance dredging, and navigational aids inside port limits.
- Marine Service Costs. Costs paid by the shipping line for compulsory marine services such as pilotage, berthing, and tug assistance. Usually incurred when entering and leaving the port, and based on vessel size. Such costs can also be under the port dues.