Container transporters slugged with another charge

Container transporters slugged with another charge

Patrick Terminals’ infrastructure surcharges are another massive impost on transport and supply chain costs, says the CTAA.

Less than three months after the announcement of infrastructure surcharges imposed on container transport operators by DP World, rival stevedore, Patrick Terminals, has announced increased infrastructure surcharges in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle from 10th July 2017.

The Patrick surcharges will be as follows:

  • Sydney: $25.45 per container.
  • Fremantle: $4.76 per container.
  • Brisbane: $32.55 per container.
  • Melbourne: $32 per container.

The infrastructure surcharges will be applied to both road and rail transport operators for all full container movements, both import and export.

“The implementation of these surcharges by Patrick, coming off the back of the surcharges applied by DP World recently, mean that the cost and revenue collection structure in the container logistics industry has changed fundamentally and puts enormous cost pressures on container transport operators and their freight forwarder and shipper customers,” observed CTAA director Neil Chambers.

“The position of CTAA Alliance companies remains the same – the stevedores should either absorb increased operating costs or negotiate their collection through their commercial clients, the shipping lines. Should the shipping line then opt to pass on this cost, it can be negotiated on a commercial basis between themselves and their client importers, exporters or freight forwarders.

“As we said when DP World made its recent announcements, it is very disturbing that the stevedores can simply offset their rising costs by unilaterally implementing levies on parties in the supply chain who have no strong contractual relationship with the stevedores, with no consultation and at short notice.

“The additional stevedoring competition on the east coast of Australia has naturally led to highly competitive market negotiations for stevedoring contracts and a commercial reluctance by the stevedores to negotiate higher prices with shipping lines to cover their rising costs of doing business.

“Perversely though, it seems that this doesn’t faze Patrick or DP World, because they can offset these costs through imposing surcharges on other parties who can’t push back.

“Seemingly too, regulators such as the ACCC and governments have abandoned the container logistics sector and are allowing the ‘market to bear’, even though it is clear that the stevedores have unfettered power to impose these charges on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis.

“We’ve brought these latest announcements by Patrick to the further attention of the ACCC and asked them again to intervene. Will the ACCC intervene?  That’s a matter for the competition watchdog, but if not, it’s a real sign to us that the system is broken and needs to change,” Mr Chambers noted.

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