Queuing delays getting customers' attention: ATA

Industry gets briefing on paid waiting times at port, as trucking lobby says COR is helping reduce queues

By Brad Gardner | May 4, 2010

A briefing will be held this week on paid waiting times at Port Botany, as the NSW trucking lobby says customers are paying more attention to queuing delays.

Sydney Ports will on Thursday hold a meeting detailing the NSW Government’s plan to impose penalties on stevedores for waiting times.

From the end of September stevedores will pay a trucking operator $25 for every 15 minute delay, $100 if a booking slot is cancelled within two hours of the agreed access time or $50 if the slot is cancelled outside the two-hour timeframe.

Trucking operators will pay $50 for a late arrival and $100 if their trucks do not show up.

Jill Lewis from the NSW branch of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says the arrangement looks good based on the information the industry has.

While saying waiting times across the industry are "always on our radar", Lewis argues chain of responsibility law and codes of conducts between customers and transport carriers are helping to resolve queues.

"Waiting on loading docks is an issue or a problem that is being addressed right across the sector," Lewis says.

Under chain of responsibility, loading and unloading premises such as stevedores and grain silo operators must provide facilities for drivers to rest so they can comply with their fatigue management obligations.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) plans to talk to industry this month to see if it should support paid waiting times nationwide.

"We often are told of drivers waiting for hours at a distribution centre to load or unload the goods, and they are not paid for their time," TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon says.

The trucking industry is currently forced to bear the cost of waiting times at Port Botany.

Operators are also penalised for late arrivals and for failing to show up.

New technology will be introduced to monitor landside operations and Sydney Ports will increase existing wharfage by $10 per TEU container for all imports and exports.

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