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DP World defers surcharges in Sydney and Melbourne

Stevedore to hold off impost for two weeks in both ports


Container transport chains in Victoria and New South Wales have gained some breathing space from DP World Australia’s (DPWA’s) ‘infrastructure surcharge’ moves.

The 900 per cent increase to $32.50 per full container for the stevedore’s Port of Melbourne terminal is to be deferred by two weeks as will the imposition of $21.16 charge at Port Botany.

The surcharge is now due to come into effect on April 17.

DP World Australia chief commercial officer Brian Gillespie says the delay in Melbourne was in light of the “feedback received from major industry bodies, VTA [Victorian Transport Association], FTA [Freight Trade Alliance] and APSA [Australian Peak Shippers Association], which highlighted the impracticalities for transport operators to provide notice to their customers of an increased charge prior to becoming effective”, while in Sydney it was due to ” feedback received from major industry bodies, FTA and APSA”.

The VTA reiterates its message that transport operators, for their financial well-being, must ensure such charges are passed on to customers once they

“There is no doubt that the new infrastructure surcharge rates to be applied to full containers delivered via road or rail at DP World Australia’s Melbourne and Sydney terminals will impact significantly on the transport industry in terms of cost, profit margin and other economic variables,” said VTA CEO Peter Anderson in a message to members and the industry.

“The increase … is indeed dramatic, and must be passed on by operators directly to their customers in order to mitigate its impact.

“The VTA has been in close consultation with many operators that have expressed concern about the increases to the Surcharge, and our advice is to quickly enter into discussions with customers to negotiate passing on the full financial impact of the increase as soon practicable.

“The postponement gives operators and the industry additional time to negotiate with their customers, and alleviate short-term cash flow issues that could be experienced from the surcharge taking effect.

“It is important that customers understand that the costs of doing business for transport operators are increasing rapidly, and that transactional costs such as this Surcharge, and similar increases to tolls and levies, ultimately must be worn by customers and the end user.”

(Note: an earlier version of this report stated erroneously that there were differing deferral times between the ports. ATN regrets any confusion.)

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