A range of measures are needed to increase Perth harbour income and return it to a “break even” position.
Council chiefs discussed how positive relationships are being developed with shipping agents, contractors, pilots and local businesses to generate trade.
Jim Valentine, the council’s chief executive of environment, said the council’s business plan for the harbour forecasts expected income up to March 31 should be £43,770 with an expenditure of £299,393.
Mr Valentine said: “Increasing commercial income is one of the main priorities for the new harbour team. Positive relationships are being developed with shipping agents, pilots and local businesses.
“For example, a successful trading relationship has been developed with Balfour Beatty’s sub-contractors to transport aggregates via the harbour as part of the contract for the A9/A85 junction.
“And Perth harbour is being promoted in specialised directories such as the Ports of Scotland Year Book 2017.”
The council expects dredging work to unlock the port to larger vessels to be completed by the end of August. The authority awarded £870,000 towards the project.
The council meeting was told a specialist land and hydrographical survey company has been appointed to undertake a probe of the River Tay.
Mr Valentine added: “The dredging scope work has started, including Marine Scotland licence, and it is anticipated that it would be completed by the end of May. It’s anticipated the tender contract would be issued mid-March with the contract awarded at the end of May.
“Dredging would begin in June and should be finished by the end of August.”
Dredging is also expected to help the council’s proposal to transform the River Tay into a busy thoroughfare for water taxis and leisure cruises.
Mr Valentine said the council’s harbour business plan concluded it could be only brought back into break even by a period of investment.
Councillor Dave Doogan told council chiefs he felt the harbour had been affected by “previous mismanagement.”
“Perth Harbour has been turned around and our gaze should now be raised,” he said.