Patrick surcharges increase
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.”