Media Release: 19 November, 2019.

Peak industry organisations Road Freight NSW (RFNSW), the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), Western Roads Federation and the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia Limited (CBFCA) have joined forces to fight the latest round of crippling charges being imposed by stevedores on transport operators across the nation.

The new charges have been announced as the 2018-19 Australian Competition and Customer Commission’s (ACCC) annual monitoring report, shows that higher ‘infrastructure access charges’ for port users across the country resulted in revenue for stevedores soaring to $166.6 million - an exorbitant 63 per cent increase on the previous year.

These significant revenue streams clearly demonstrate that landside port users are effectively underwriting the profitability of stevedores through the regular rises in access charges, in what is a monopolistic operating environment at the country’s major ports.

The ongoing increases are building unavoidable costs into national supply chains, with stevedores failing to adequately invest in terminal infrastructure to address worsening truck turn-around times and improve overall productivity and efficiencies for transport operators.

At Port Botany, DP World Australia will increase its container charge from $63.80 to $91.00 (effective 1 January, 2020), whilst at Fremantle the charge has jumped from $8.22 per container to $45.00 – a staggering 450 per cent increase.

Once again, these charges have not been subject to any detailed regulatory scrutiny.

RFNSW, the ATA, Western Roads Federation and CBFCA say: Enough is enough.

Based on the ACCC’s monitoring report, it is clear the stevedores’ charges are unjustified and our alliance of industry groups is calling for a full, independent review of the ongoing price hikes.

The Andrews Government in Victoria has already responded to industry concerns and is currently reviewing port charges and whether regulation is required.

Attributable quotes:

RFNSW Chief Executive Simon O’Hara: “Our members are already operating on incredibly tight margins and these ongoing price rises are having a crippling financial impact on truck operators. They’re a real burden on their businesses.

“The stevedores are using their market power at the ports to continue imposing these unjustified port charges – using truck operators to increase their revenue.

“It’s time industry had a fair and robust price monitoring system at the port which is why here in NSW, we have asked for the NSW Government’s urgent intervention.”

ATA Chief Executive Officer Ben Maguire: “The existing price monitoring framework has failed. The stevedores ignore it and clearly hold it in contempt.

“The Government needs to take urgent action to protect trucking operators from these monopoly charges.”

Western Roads Federation Chief Executive Cam Dumesney: “How can truckies be expected to to cop a 450 per cent increase in port charges?

“Truckies will have no choice but to pass the charge on to their clients through the supply chain with consumers ultimately, paying for it. In a sluggish economy, we just don’t need it.

“It’s clear that landside operators are propping-up the stevedores through these excessive charges, yet in return, there seems to be no investment in much-needed infrastructure at the ports.”

CBFCA Chief Executive Officer Paul Damkjaer: “State Governments now need to step-up and act.

“These ongoing charges are an example of a small number of players in one market dictate terms and pricing, at the expense of Australia’s international trade.

“State Governments and port authorities have a role to play and cannot leave it to the ACCC to resolve, as the ACCC has limits on its powers to intervene.

“The CBFCA will not give up until these charges are abolished.”


Road Freight NSW began as ATA NSW in 1893. 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 media: 0411 254 390


The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 business and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, we are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.

ATA media: 0417 211 441


Western Roads Federation has been formed to give a strong unified voice for companies who use WA roads for commercial benefit. Regardless of whether it’s a courier car, a crane, a garbage truck or a road train, the issues are fundamentally the same.  Improved productivity and safety through greater access, investment and recognition of the critical importance of roads to the economy.

Western Roads Federation media: 0481 064 371


The Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia Limited (CBFCA) is Australia’s leading peak national body, which represents members interests in international trade logistics and supply chain management service provision. We are committed to being the voice for customs brokers, international freight forwarders and other associated groups concerned with international trade, representing and supporting our members in a difficult regulatory environment.

CBFCA media: 0414 635831

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Road Freight NSW contact details

56 Fitzroy Street Marrickville NSW 2204

Tel: (02) 9557 1205



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