Pa­trick sur­charges in­crease

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

CTAA, RFNSW and FTA up in arms against port in­fra­struc­ture charges in­crease

IN­DUS­TRY REP­RE­SEN­TA­TIVE BOD­IES

have crit­i­cised Pa­trick Steve­dore’s de­ci­sion to in­crease in­fra­struc­ture sur­charges from March 12. The de­ci­sion ap­plies to full con­tain­ers en­ter­ing and ex­it­ing Pa­trick ter­mi­nals in Syd­ney, Fre­man­tle, Bris­bane and Mel­bourne. The new charges will be: • Syd­ney – $41.10 per full con­tainer • Fre­man­tle – $7.50 per full con­tainer • Fish­er­man Is­lands – $38.25 per full

con­tainer • East Swan­son Dock – $47.50 per full con­tainer. The steve­dore says the de­ci­sion is based on a re­view of its ter­mi­nal in­fra­struc­ture in a “chal­leng­ing eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment”.

How­ever, Con­tainer Trans­port Al­liance Aus­tralia (CTAA), Freight & Trade Al­liance (FTA), Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) have blamed the move on the lack of reg­u­la­tion in the mar­ket that al­lows steve­dores to shift their cost re­cov­ery to land­side stake­hold­ers. CTAA refers to a po­ten­tial “rates war” be­tween the two ma­jor steve­dores – Pa­trick and DP World.

“Gov­ern­ments told us the in­tro­duc­tion of in­creased steve­dor­ing com­pe­ti­tion would drop rates and that’s ex­actly what is hap­pen­ing. What gov­ern­ments didn’t project was that the re­duc­tion in rates would feed the bottom line of for­eign ship­ping lines at the ex­pense of Aus­tralian im­porters and ex­porters,” CTAA di­rec­tor Ger­ard Langes ar­gues.

“It’s be­com­ing in­creas­ingly clear that steve­dores are re­struc­tur­ing their rev­enues away from the ship­ping lines to­wards the trans­port sec­tor.”

RFNSW says no proper reg­u­la­tion, ac­count­abil­ity or trans­parency is al­low­ing Pa­trick to get away with its mas­sive, on­go­ing port tax in­creases for truck op­er­a­tors.

“Pa­trick’s in­fra­struc­ture sur­charge has gone from zero to $25.45 to $41.10 in less than a year,” RFNSW GM Si­mon O’Hara says. “And it’s laugh­able that yet again, they blame in­creased op­er­at­ing costs at Port Botany for the price hike. Rents haven’t in­creased, they’ve fallen, but even though they were caught out, Pa­trick still con­tin­ues to spin the same old line today.”

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