Media release: RFNSW slams DP World over second port tax hike

RFNSW SLAMS DP WORLD OVER SECOND PORT TAX HIKE

A ‘kick in the guts for truckies’

Peak body Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) has slammed DP World Australia (DPWA) over plans to hit truck operators with another increase to the existing infrastructure levy at the Port Botany terminal – the second big price rise forced on carriers in less than a year.

From 1 January 2018, DPWA will introduce a surcharge of $37.65 per container received or delivered at the terminal. This is an increase of $16.49 on the earlier infrastructure tax of $21.16 DPWA imposed on truckies in April this year.

RFNSW General Manager Simon O’Hara described the latest price hike as outrageous.

“Our members are stunned, they’ve effectively been hit with two big price increases at the port in less than a year,” Mr O’Hara said today.

“Once again, the latest price gouge has been cynically blamed on so-called ‘increased costs’ at the port, but the ACCC has already acknowledged that extra taxes could earn DPWA and Patrick a combined revenue of $70 million, equivalent to a 5 to 6 per cent increase in unit revenues.

“The ACCC also noted that ‘unit costs for both stevedores remain stable’, so from our perspective there is simply no justification for yet another price hike – it’s nothing but a greedy cash grab from DPWA.

“It’s a kick in the guts for our RFNSW members who are still reeling from the first round of unscrupulous surcharges forced on them by the stevedores.

“We’re now concerned that truckies’ operational costs will continue to rise and be passed on through the supply chain and eventually on to consumers.

“What’s worse is that the other stevedores will undoubtedly follow DPWA down the slippery slope and impose their increases on port charges. Where will it end?

“We’ve welcomed the ACCC’s statement that the infrastructure taxes raise a number of issues for the port supply chain and we are again urging the ACCC to step-in and stop the stevedores from using their market power to force these ever-increasing charges on to truckies.” 

Freight News: RFNSW meets the Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Westconnex

RFNSW meets the Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Westconnex

The RFNSW Board met with the NSW Premier, Treasurer and cabinet members last week to discuss key issues including:

  • safety on the road
  • infrastructure surcharges
  • truck use of NorthConnex
  • joint campaigns
  • toll costs on transport and their impact on the bottom line.

We put a number of key points to these leaders and highlighted members’ concerns.

Read the Monday 13 November issue here.

Freight News: RFNSW Welcomes ACCC Examination of New Port Taxes

RFNSW WELCOMES ACCC EXAMINATION OF NEW PORT TAXES

Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) has welcomed the ACCC’s acknowledgment that infrastructure taxes imposed by DP World and Patrick “raise a number of issues for the port supply chain”, leaving transport carriers with higher operating charges and the inability to switch to other stevedores.

In its 2016–17 Container Stevedore Monitoring Report released yesterday, the ACCC said the taxes “could earn DP World and Patrick a combined $70 million in revenues, which would be equivalent to a 5 to 6 per cent increase in unit revenues”.

According to the ACCC, “it is concerning that truck and rail operators face these higher charges but are limited in their ability to take their business elsewhere”. 

The stevedores announced the new taxes earlier this year without consulting RFNSW or other industry groups. Charges were justified by claiming that increases in rent, land tax and rates were a ‘cost burden’ that could no longer be absorbed and that the increased surcharges would be used to fund new infrastructure.

Read the Monday 6 November issue here.

Freight News: Members Win Big in RFNSW/BP Fuel Deal

New agreement provides major fuel discounts for truck operators

Peak body Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) is pleased to announce a new sponsorship agreement with BP Australia Pty. Ltd. (BP) which will provide RFNSW members with significant fuel discounts.

Announcing the agreement in Sydney, the General Manager of RFNSW, Simon O’Hara, said the relationship with BP will deliver a range of benefits to its members, including:

  • Access to an extensive network of truck stops and key diesel sites strategically located throughout major transport routes in Australia.
  • Improved discounts on BP Plus card for BP Diesel and ULP products.
  • During the month of November 2017, the new arrangement will include a BP Plus Card offer to new RFNSW members whereby additional discounts will apply for the first 7 months trading as well as no transaction fees for 12 months.*
  • Support to RFNSW through industry events, seminars and awards.

Read the Tuesday 31 October issue here.

Freight News: Road Freight NSW To Operate As Independent Body

Breaking: RFNSW will become independent from the ATA on 1 January 2018 

Road Freight NSW––the peak industry organisation representing trucking operators in NSW––will become an independent organisation from 1 January 2018 to better serve its NSW membership base.

The organisation––currently a subsidiary of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA)–– delivers a range of services and benefits to members, including advice on workplace relations, legal counsel and engagement, discounted off the pump and bulk fuel through BP, and representation on industry issues, interests and concerns to state and federal governments.

It began as ATA NSW in 2007 and is recognised as a respected advocate for trucking operators, and a conduit to government, regulators and enforcement agencies.

Road Freight NSW took on its current name in 2015. It will now work independently to campaign on policies affecting the NSW transport sector, primarily heavy vehicle safety, the regulatory regimes stifling business growth and the unwarranted surcharges, like stevedores’ port taxes, being imposed on carriers.

Road Freight NSW Chairman Jon Luff says that while the organisation is committed to policy development nationally, there is a need for an independent body in NSW to allow strong advocacy at a state level.

Freight News: RFNSW meets with Qube over surcharge

RFNSW Conference postponed to 2018 so that RFNSW can focus on exciting news

The ATA and Road Freight NSW have made the tough decision to postpone this year’s RFNSW conference to focus on 2018 and some exciting news we’ll have for you in the next few days.

We’ll have more information for you later this week.

Tragedy at Berrima

Last week we met with a team from UNSW around fatigue issues facing drivers and I attach some helpful posters here for your workplace.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the family affected by this tragedy at Berrima and we will work with compliance and enforcement government agencies where we can to get the message out about fatigue in our industry.

To that end, Chief Inspector Phil Brooks has made an offer to visit our member’s workplaces to discuss the issues around driver fatigue over the Christmas period. Some of the larger transport companies have already taken up that offer. If you would like to know more, please contact simon.ohara@rfnsw.com.au 

Read the Wednesday 18 October issue here. 

Freight News: RFNSW conference to answer media critics of truck safety and much more

Media goes after truckies in NSW over safety: Come to the RFNSW Safety/CoR Conference to safeguard yourself from these attacks…

Over the weekend, the Sydney Morning Herald published this story:

http://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2017/truck-safety-australia/

RFNSW would have liked the opportunity to put our members’ viewpoints to the publication and allow readers the ability to assess some of the facts about truck safety. As a consequence, we put to the Sydney Morning Herald the following view of our membership:

“We would have appreciated the opportunity to have some input into the articles to give our members’ perspectives on truck safety. After all, they balance safety and compliance, with their cost imperatives, as few others do,” Mr O’Hara said today.

“RFNSW meets with our members and stakeholders like RMS and NHVR regularly to raise any issues we have around safety policies and compliance, with strategies then developed and implemented, as part of our commitment to heavy vehicle safety on NSW roads.”

The RFNSW annual conference, to be held in Sydney on 1 November, will focus on how carriers can gain the knowledge and expertise to successfully operate under the new CoR, ensuring that safety and compliance is at the centre of their businesses.

Read the 11 September 2017 issue here

Media release: Safety and compliance: top priorities for carriers

With new Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws commencing next year, peak body Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) continues to work with its members and industry stakeholders to ensure safety and compliance are front and centre of the daily operations of heavy vehicles on our roads.

Responding to weekend media reports about concerns over truck safety, RFNSW General Manager Simon O’Hara says “our members who have worked in the industry for many years have always, and will always maintain, that safety on the road network is paramount.”

“We would have appreciated the opportunity to have some input into the articles to give our members’ perspectives on truck safety. After all, they balance safety and compliance, with their cost imperatives, as few others do,” Mr O’Hara said today.

“RFNSW meets with our members and stakeholders like RMS and NHVR regularly to raise any issues we have around safety policies and compliance, with strategies then developed and implemented, as part of our commitment to heavy vehicle safety on NSW roads.

“Amendments to CoR laws commencing in mid-2018, means that drivers will be required to undertake daily checks of their trucks, assess any operational risks and ensure they are fully compliant, otherwise businesses will suffer. We’re sending the message that everyone in the supply chain has a role to play, not just carriers.

“RFNSW also believes that the adoption of new technologies and ongoing public education campaigns focusing on road safety overall, will assist in curbing preventable accidents and fatalities.”

The RFNSW annual conference, to be held in Sydney on 1 November, will focus on how carriers can gain the knowledge and expertise to successfully operate under the new CoR laws, ensuring that safety and compliance are at the forefront of their businesses. For more information about the RFNSW conference, go to www.roadfreight.nsw.com.au.

Media Release: RFNSW seeks a ‘please explain’ on new air cargo tax

Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) has sought an urgent meeting with QUBE Logistics to clarify how its new ‘International Terminal Fee’ will impact on truck companies transporting air freight cargo.

QUBE has advised that from October 9, it will impose a $30 fee at its container freight station terminals in Sydney and other capital cities, blaming “higher rent, land tax and energy costs, increased labour and property maintenance costs.”

General Manager Simon O’Hara said RFNSW had already written to QUBE, requesting an urgent meeting in order to receive further details on the new surcharge.

“There’s been no consultation with RFNSW, so it’s important that we sit down with QUBE and ask them for a please explain,” Mr O’Hara said.

“QUBE has advised that that the fee will be payable at the time a shipment is collected and billed per gate pass, but we still need clarification about how it’s actually going to work.

“We’re obviously concerned that any additional impost will cause further cash flow issues for our members who have already experienced financial losses as a result of recent port taxes unjustifiably imposed on them by stevedores.

“RFNSW is asking QUBE to engage with industry before this new fee is added to supply chain costs,” Mr O’Hara said.

Freight News: RFNSW Drives Expansion of Heavy Vehicle Industry Trial; RFNSW and WARTA join Forces; Johnstons Transport; ATA Council Meeting, and more.

After a limited trial involving select carriers, all operators using the Performance Based Standards (PBS) 2B scheme can now apply to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator for an access permit for the transportation of containers in and out of the port. Currently, approved trucks and their combinations can only utilise select PBS road networks.

We believe the use of the PBS scheme has proven to be highly effective in improving efficiencies in the freight supply chain for our members.

With planning now underway for the next stage of the trial, RFNSW will be holding talks with Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), Transport for NSW, NSW Ports and other industry stakeholders at a meeting at Port Botany on Wednesday 6 September.

RFNSW and WARTA join forces
Last week, RFNSW joined forces with its interstate counterpart, the Western Australian Road Transport Association (WARTA) in a renewed fight against unjustified landside surcharges imposed by stevedores at ports across the country.

I met with WARTA Executive Officer Cam Dumesny last week, and we observed freight movements in and out of the Port Botany terminals, seeking feedback from carriers about the impact the new levies were having on their day to day operations.

When asked by the media about our collective associations’ views, I told them:
“In NSW and WA, truck operators, particularly the smaller, family-run businesses, are hurting. Accordingly, RFNSW and WARTA will make a joint submission to the ACCC, again calling for an investigation and independent umpire to review any financial charges.”

Read the 4 September issue here.