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Industry groups call for greater PBLIS regulatory scope

Submission identifies holes due to policy drift and neglect


A decade of policy neglect of port operations sees a new call for action on container-chain disfunction.

The latest spur is the review of Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy (PBLIS) Mandatory Standards.

This leads Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) and the International Forwarders and Customs Brokers Association of Australia (IFCBAA) combining to call on the NSW government to implement a raft of new measures aimed at putting the brakes on ever-increasing surcharges at Port Botany and improving productivity and efficiencies for transport operators calling at the terminal.

In a joint submission to Transport for NSW (TfNSW), the industry groups say their recommendations “must be acted-on given the re-emergence of ‘historical inefficiencies’ at the port”.

These are identified as including, rising terminal infrastructure and other surcharges imposed by stevedores, manual processes, extensive truck queues and long truck turnaround times.

RFNSW and IFCBAA’s key recommendations are:

  • Introduction of push SMS messaging for container truck drivers, alerting them to changes or delays at the port
  • Expanding automated number plate recognition technology to approach roads and empty container parks in Port Botany
  • Times slots per hour increased from the current 54 to 85
  • The definition of ‘Working Day’ to include weekends and 24/7
  • Establishment of a Port Community System (PCS) to be able to efficiently contribute to and access relevant and timely data that covers all aspects of both full and empty container movements, both internationally and domestically
  • A new approval approach to increasing costs in terminal infrastructure surcharges require them to be included under PBLIS and the new safety/weight surcharge to be stopped
  • Manual (paper) processes to be identified and removed
  • Empty container storage, handling, data, evacuation and the full life cycle of every container with traceability to be included under PBLIS.

Read how news of Transport for NSW’s  PBLIS review emerged, here

“PBLIS consists of a range of measures, fines and penalties which have been designed to improve landside efficiency at Port Botany RFNSW chief executive Simon O’Hara observes.

“That’s why we’re now calling on TfNSW to carefully consider our common-sense recommendations, so we can put a halt to the crippling terminal charges being slugged on transport operators, reduce congestion and improve the consistency of container collection and deliveries, across the day and week.”

IFCBAA CEO Paul Damkjaer believes all players in the container chain need be part of the solution.

“There must be continuous improvement across port operations,” Damkjaer says.

“We’re calling for stevedores and shipping lines to have protocols placed on them under the PBLIS, to ensure productivity is increased in vessel to berth, vessel capacity and for stevedores; lift rates per hour, truck servicing, and continuous improvement in truck turnaround times [TTTs].”


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