Freight News – meeting over infrastructure with transport for NSW

Last week, I had an opportunity to talk to an Executive Director of Transport for NSW about engaging with them on behalf of our members.

After discussing the respective aims and ambit of our roles, we discussed construction and the next NSW Infrastructure Strategy.

To that end, we agreed that a round table discussion between our member CEOs involved in the transportation of aggregate and the senior leadership of Transport for NSW would be an ideal forum to deal with the issue of bottlenecks and difficulties facing operators.

If you are interested in participating in this forum, at a date to be announced, and discussing matters affecting your business with the Executive Director level of Transport for NSW, please email me at

This is a terrific opportunity to engage with government at the highest levels to discuss matters affecting your business.

Read the 17 July 2017 issue.

RFNSW Freight News 11 July 2017 – Bring in the ACCC on port charges

Yesterday, RFNSW participated in a meeting with the Australian Trucking Association and other states and associations. I called on the ATA to include the regulation of infrastructure surcharges at Port Botany in its submission to the Australian Government on the independent price regulation of truck charges.

The details of this meeting, and the latest workplace relations updates from Ai Group, are in the 11 July 2017 issue of RFNSW Freight News.

Read the 11 July 2017 issue now

RFNSW Freight News 3 July 2017 – Carrier Access Agreements – DPW Australia apologises and listens to our members

Due to representation from RFNSW members, Max Kruse today issued the following apology:

We’re extending the deadline for returning Carrier Access Agreements (CAA) to Friday, 14 July. We apologise for the short lead time in issuing the CAA last week. Carriers who have yet to return their paperwork will continue to have access to our terminals until 14 July.

Many thanks to the more than 60 per cent of carriers who have returned their paperwork.

Collectively the business has received a number of requests asking to extend our credit terms. We will be retaining our 14-day payment terms with invoices issued weekly.

Max Kruse
Chief Operating Officer
DP World Australia

RFNSW welcomes DPWA’s flexibility in ensuring an extension to returning Carrier Access Agreements.

Read more:

  • From the General Manager’s desk
  • Increase to award wages and allowances
  • Fuel tax credits to rise; new self-clearing defect notices
  • Injured workers recovering at work survey
  • Chance for truck drivers to be heard
  • Road reports, closures, changes and detours

Read the 3 July 2017 issue.


30 June 2017 

Peak body Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) has expressed concerns that truck operators have been given only two days to review and renew an agreement allowing them to access the DP World Australia terminal at Port Botany.

According to RFNSW, DP World Australia sent carriers a copy of the National Carrier Access Agreement on Wednesday 28 June – just days before the commencement date of 1 July.

RFNSW General Manager Simon O’Hara said today “previously, our members have had 30 days or even 14 days to renew their agreement, but this year it’s a matter of only days.

“Frankly, this timeframe is unreasonable and unfair to our members, who spend most of their time on the road.

“This is a legal agreement which our members need to carefully consider and if necessary, seek appropriate legal advice on, to ensure their ongoing access to the terminal is commercially fair and balanced and not disadvantaging them in any way.

“This simply cannot be done in a matter of days which is what our members are being asked to do.

“You wouldn’t expect people to sign a mortgage document, or a business contract or stevedores to sign with shipping lines on matters that could impact their livelihood, in just a few days. It shouldn’t be any different for our members being asked to sign their National Carrier Access Agreement,’ Mr O’Hara said.

In a message to carriers, DP World Australia states that “it is critical that the renewal is completed as soon as possible to ensure continued access to slot-booking facilities” at their terminals.

Mr O’Hara added “the real question is what happens to carriers if they cannot return a signed agreement in the timeframe. Will they be stopped from operating? What effect will this have on the NSW economy?”

Mr O’Hara has written to DP World Australia, on behalf of RFNSW members, asking that appropriate time made be available for carriers to have an opportunity to properly review these important agreements.

Additionally, he has sought clarification on why DP World Australia had not emailed out the agreements earlier, in line with previous years custom and practice.

RFNSW media contact: 0411 254 390


Peak body Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) has called on the Federal Government and relevant departments to convene a special industry-led national working group to better educate motorists on interacting with heavy vehicles in order to reduce the number of road accidents estimated to be costing the Australian economy $33 billion a year.

Appearing yesterday before the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee inquiring into road safety in Australia, RFNSW General Manager Simon O’Hara said: “greater engagement and education on the roads, particularly with regard to light vehicles is essential.”

“Preventable deaths are a tragedy, the question is what we do about it,” Mr O’Hara told the Hearing.

“RFNSW, along with the ATA, has issued a list of Top 10 Tips advising the motoring public on how to drive safely with heavy vehicles on the roads. One of those tips is distracted driving, with studies showing that 80% of collisions are caused by motorists whose attention is taken away from the road by their passengers, phones, GPS, radio, eating drinking and smoking.

“Alarmingly, distractions are now deemed to be the single biggest cause of crashes and near misses, with road users who take their eyes off the road for two seconds or longer, doubling their crash risk. If drivers get that message and pay attention, that’s one simple way of trying to achieve safer roads for all users alike.

“RFNSW wants safety to be the cornerstone of what truck drivers do each and every day.

“RFNSW recommends the establishment of a working committee to scope out better ways to educate light vehicle users and cyclists in their interactions with heavy vehicle users for the purposes of attaining safer roads. We believe appropriate funding also be set aside for greater engagement and public awareness to educate road users and inform them on how to properly interact with heavy vehicles.”

At the hearing, Mr O’Hara also raised another critical issue impacting carriers – crippling new surcharges being imposed by stevedores DP World Australia and Patrick on truck operators at Port Botany.

“A large proportion of the rationale for these charges, as we understand it, is around rent increases. But only last week we learnt from NSW Ports that rent has actually decreased at the Ports from 2013 (pre-privatisation) to 2017,” he explained.

“RFNSW believes these port charges place further pressures on an industry already working with slim profits and costly overheads. This questionable behaviour from the stevedores should be properly explained and built on a firm foundation of empirical evidence that justifies the rationale for this additional financial burden on carriers. Ultimately, the consumer in one form or another pays the cost and if road transport users can’t understand why they are being taxed (and invoiced early) for using the stevedores – then perhaps the Australian consumer who will likely bear these costs deserves an explanation.”

Mr O’Hara thanked the Senators on the Committee for the opportunity to outline RFNSW’s insights, concerns and recommendations, on behalf of its members.

RFNSW media contact: 0411 254 390

RFNSW Freight News 26 June 2017-Patrick’s stevedore infrastructure charge

Patrick’s stevedore infrastructure charge, NSW Ports, Trucking Australia 2017, Volvo ATA Safety Truck

Patrick’s stevedore infrastructure charge

Last week Patrick’s accepted an invitation to meet with RFNSW and our operators to discuss their increase at NSW Ports.

We welcome Patrick’s desire to meet for discussions this week, however, the proof will be in the pudding.

DP World Australia said that they wanted to meet but seemed to think meetings with road operators about increased costs was a flexible invitation that didn’t require a base level of engagement or consultation.

We would also welcome a meeting with government and the relevant departments to discuss the 60 days notice they receive in relation to notice of increases.

Good government requires engagement with small business and operators, particularly when costs go up with little explanation.

Read more

  • From the General Manager’s desk
  • Congratulations to the National Trucking Industry Award winners
  • NTC Land Transport Regulation 2040 report
  • Road reports, closures, changes and detours

Read the 26 June 2017 issue


22 June 2017 

New port tax must be stopped after proof Patrick’s claims are wrong.
Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) says NSW Ports rejection of claims by Patrick that rents at Port Botany have increased means that the stevedore must now put the brakes on its proposed new tax on carriers.

Patrick recently announced a levy of $25.45 per container for transport movements at the Port Botany terminal from 10 July, claiming increases in rent, land tax and Council rates are a “cost burden” which it cannot absorb.

But as highlighted in media reports today, NSW Ports has directly contradicted the stevedore’s claims, revealing that “in actual terms, Patrick’s total rent per square metre of occupied land area has dropped slightly between FY2017 and FY2013 (pre-privatisation)”.

It outlines that “Port Botany has been managed by NSW Ports since May 2013, following privatisation. Stevedore rental structures at Port Botany were in place prior to privatisation. NSW Ports had no involvement in the development or agreement of the stevedore rental arrangements for Port Botany. These agreements were negotiated between the stevedores and the state government. NSW Ports has been implementing the leases in accordance with the agreed arrangements.”

RFNSW, General Manager, Simon O’Hara demanded Patrick halt the introduction of the proposed port tax given that the justification for the charge has been proven to be wrong.

“It’s astonishing that NSW Ports has felt it necessary to come out and set the record straight on these blatant mistruths regarding the justification for the new port charge. Patrick’s rents haven’t increased, as NSW Port confirms, their rents have, in fact, fallen,” Mr O’Hara said, today.

“Patrick’s has been caught out. What’s now clear is it’s been playing the blame game, using pretty poor spin to try to justify their new round of cost shifting and they’ve used their market power to target hard working truckies rather than go after international shipping operators.

Patrick must now come clean and explain why it wants to pass on costs down the supply chain to carriers who have already been unfairly burdened by DP World Australia’s port surcharge.

“Patrick must act in good faith and put a halt to the new tax given NSW Port clarification and RFNSW is calling on the State Government and the ACCC to urgently investigate on behalf of our members,” Mr O’Hara said.

RFNSW has already begun campaigning against Patrick’s infrastructure surcharge, most recently in an article in The Australian: NSW Ports denies raising Patrick’s rent

RFNSW media contact: 0411 254 390

Road Freight NSW began as ATA NSW in 2007. The organisation has developed to become a respected advocate for trucking operators, as a conduit to government, regulators and enforcement agencies. In 2015 the new name, Road Freight NSW, articulates our independent and authoritative viewpoint thanks to our respected executive leadership and the passion and expertise of members contributing to the Policy Council.

RFNSW Freight News 19 June 2017-​ RFNSW refutes Patrick’s infrastructure surcharge

NHVR Presentation, RFNSW slams Patrick’s over new infrastructure surcharge, Road and Maritime Services meeting, SafeWork NSW Hazardous Chemicals- baseline project, stakeholders forum and Trucking Australia 2017

Last week we provided the power point presentations for most of our speakers on our CoR seminar. Bill Esteves from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has kindly provided us with his speech from the session.

Read the seminar speech

 RFNSW slams Patrick’s over new infrastructure surcharge

Last Wednesday I attended the Port facilitation meeting at Port Botany with stevedores, Port Authority, customs brokers and other relevant parties.

RFNSW Container Sub-Committee was represented by Chair John Preston, Vice Chair Paul Downey and Secretary Bill Lovatt.

During the course of the meeting, I was able to articulate the views of the members to Patrick’s infrastructure surcharge and requested that the meeting minutes reflect our request to meet with Patrick’s to discuss this topic.

I also articulated the view that DP World Australia had not properly engaged with industry over their new surcharge and we aim to avoid this situation with Patrick’s.

Read more

  • From the General Manager’s desk
  • Support our industry at the Trucking Australia 2017 auction
  • Have your say on the upcoming safety code at Trucking Australia 2017
  • RFNSW at SafeWork NSW Forum
  • NTC calls for feedback to improve load restraint guide
  • Road reports, closures, changes and detours

Read the June 19 edition

RFNSW Freight News 13 June 2017-​ RFNSW slams Patrick’s over new infrastructure surcharge

RFNSW slams Patrick’s over new infrastructure surcharge, June 7 chain of responsibility information session at St George Leagues Club, RFNSW 2017 Conference, Trucking Australia 2017

On Friday 9 June, I was telephoned by Patrick’s stevedores informing me of a new infrastructure surcharge at Port Botany.

Patrick’s told me they had sent out an email to operators informing them that the new infrastructure surcharge for Port Botany, and other Ports around the country, was going to be lifted from zero to $25.45 per container.

For the full information and notice from Patrick’s

As we forecast with the DPW Australia infrastructure surcharge, another stevedore has followed suit and imposed another higher surcharge on our operators.

Patrick’s have offered a sop in the form of payment terms changing from 7 days to 30 days.

Read more

  • From the General Manager’s desk
  • Support our industry at the Trucking Australia 2017 auction
  • ATA announces Cummins South Pacific Scholarship recipients
  • NSW Productivity Schemes
  • Annual Wage Review 2016-17 Decision
  • Road reports, closures, changes and detours

Read the June 13 issue


A SECOND stevedore’s port tax imposed on carriers using the Sydney terminal is yet another blow to hard working trucking operators, peak industry group Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) said today.

Patrick has announced that from 10 July, a levy of $25.45 per container will be imposed for transport movements at the Port Botany terminals. The company claims increases in rent, land tax and Council rates is a “cost burden” on operations which it “can no longer absorb.”

Carriers will be invoiced through the 1-Stop Vehicle Booking System with 30-day terms

This latest price hike follows DP World Australia’s so-called “infrastructure surcharge” of $21.16 per container, which was introduced in April.

RFNSW General Manager Simon O’Hara described Patrick’s new levy as blatant cost-shifting.

“When DP World Australia imposed their tax back in April, RFNSW was extremely concerned that it was only a matter of time before other stevedore’s got in on the act. Unfortunately, our warnings have come true,” he said.

“Patrick blames risings terminal costs for this new unilateral charge, but surely they can look at improving their own operational efficiencies, rather than cynically shifting costs on to carriers?

“We believe the tax will probably be used to off-set the costs of ongoing privatisation of the terminals.

“There is little doubt this additional tax will continue to financially impact on many smaller, family-owned trucking companies who are already suffering as a result of the DP World Australia levy and other cost pressures, like rate changes to the General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD).

“Patrick even acknowledges this in its letter announcing the levy, saying it ‘recognises these charges may impact our transport and logistic customers’ working capital requirements.’

“The DP World Australia tax was introduced, some of our members reported that they stood to lose up to $150,000 per year. We dread to think what this latest charge is going to do to their operating margins.”

Mr O’Hara said RF NSW had sought a meeting with Patrick and will be calling on the NSW Government to stop the new tax being imposed until consultation is undertaken with industry.