Industry Alliance Slam New Port Charges


Patrick has blatantly ignored a directive from the NSW Government to stop its ongoingexcessive port infrastructure surcharges by imposing yet another round of fees on transport operators – by imposing a new levy known as a ‘Terminal Access Charge’.The stevedore also failed to provide industry with 60 days’ notice for its significant increases for a range of terminal charges, which will now take effect from 9 March.

The increases include:

• Electronic Vehicle Booking Fees from $13.00 to $20.00. Approximately a 54% increase.

• Infrastructure Levy of $77.50 to a new Landside Terminal Charge of $114.50 for import containers. Approximately a 47.75% increase.

• Infrastructure Levy of $77.50 to a new Landside Terminal Charge of $82.50 for export containers. Approximately a 6.45% increase.

Prices for storage, hazardous and reefer containers have also been increased.The increases are staggering, with Patrick's VBS normal slot booking fee rising by almost 54%, including at Cargolink facilities for the return of empty container de-hires at the wharf, while performance penalties will rise between 7% to 9%.

Yet again, it’s unreasonable and unfair, given that transport operators aren't experiencing increases in terminal performance to offset higher fees through greater vehicle productivity (turnaround times and load utilisations). In fact, at some Patrick terminals, landside receival and delivery operational performance has deteriorated.

The Alliance of 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), has condemned Patrick, saying it has shown disregard for an order from NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance.

In December last year, Minister Constance warned that ‘stevedores must act responsibly and immediately put a stop to any price hikes’ and said that it was ‘completely unacceptable for stevedores to increase their infrastructure levies anytime soon’.Minister Constance also referred the stevedores’ ongoing port fee increases to the NSW Productivity Commissioner ‘to investigate the impact on the supply chain’.The Alliance has written to Minister Constance seeking an urgent meeting to discuss Patrick’s latest increases and to seek remedy on behalf of transport operators crippled by continued price gouging.

Quotes attributable to Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) Chief Executive, Simon O’Hara:

“Our members are angry and frustrated and asking when it’s going to stop?

“Patrickhas thumbed its nose at the Minister and imposed another unjustified port fee – by cynically re-naming the Infrastructure Surcharge as a Terminal Access Charge.

“It’s among a wide-range of terminal charges which will undoubtedly cause further financial burden on landside transport operators carrying the cost of paying ever-increasing terminal fees.

“We’re urging the Minister to haul-in the stevedores and put a stop to their crippling charges – our members are struggling to survive.”

Quotes attributable to Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia (CBFCA) Commercial Manager, Scott Carson:

“The CBFCA will not relent until the issues of uncontrolled charges at the Port interface are resolved.

“State Governments need to introduce legislation to resolve this situation asap.Port charges need to be regulated.

“The NSW PBLIS model introduced as part of the IPART review should be extended in NSW as part of the solution to these issues and other State Governments need to move to such a model, that has prior input from industry.

“The privatisation arrangements on Australia’s waterfront have resulted in most industry stakeholders having been severely commercially disadvantaged, with this situation being the outcome of these arrangements.

“It has to end, the negative effects on Australia’s economy are growing by the month.”

ABOUT ROAD FREIGHT NSW: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

ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATION: 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

ABOUT WESTERN ROADS FEDERATION: 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

ABOUT CUSTOMS BROKERS AND FORWARDERS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED: : 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: 02 9587 1986

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Road Freight NSW contact details

56 Fitzroy Street Marrickville NSW 2204

Tel: (02) 9557 1205

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