Port mandates targets to boost truck productivity

Port of Brisbane to enforce productivity measures in an attempt to boost truck turnaround times.

By Brad Gardner

The Port of Brisbane is enforcing productivity measures in an attempt to boost truck turnaround times and to avoid congestion in and around the port precinct.

The port, which is soon to have three stevedores operating, has built in mandated targets in leases for port operators to meet.

Stevedores are now contractually obligated to ensure trucks are operating as productively as possible. This includes ensuring trucks are not queued for hours on end and they can enter and exit the port with minimum difficulty.

The decision to include targets in new leases is a break from tradition, with General Manager of Finance and Business Services Darryl Mutzelburg saying the port previously did not enforce standards or targets.

He says enforcing achievable targets is the best way to improve port productivity while ensuring stevedores are not disadvantaged.

"We have now got those targets built into new leases whereas in the past we didn’t have productivity or environmental conditions," Mutzelburg says.

"Productivity measures are now part of their leases so certain operators will do so much in truck turnaround times."

In order to set a target, the port collects statistics from stevedores. Mutzelburg says the Port of Brisbane collates the data and works with stevedores to determine individual targets.

He says the method is part of the port’s focus on making sure it is well-placed to meet growth and the challenges that come with it.

Mutzelburg also says the measure will help stevedores comply with looming fatigue laws. Under the provisions, to come into force on September 29, loading managers will be forced to ensure drivers are not queued for hours on end waiting to receive or deliver freight.

However, the port does not expect fatigue laws to have a big impact on operations because it does not deal with a lot of interstate freight.

"Fatigue issues generally don’t come into it because the travel times are so short," Mutzelburg says.

"It is when you drive interstate and wait in a queue for three to four hours for deliveries [that it becomes an issue]."

The Port of Brisbane has experienced considerable growth over recent years, leading it to become the first port to announce a third stevedore. Hutchinson Port Holdings will soon begin operating alongside DP World and Patrick.

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