QTA slams stevedores for port levy gouge

QTA speaks out about two main stevedores using the road transport industry to recoup increased costs at the port of Brisbane

By Rob McKay | September 16, 2010

The Queensland Trucking Association has reacted with deep anger at the two main stevedores using the road transport industry to recoup increased costs at the port of Brisbane.

DP World yesterday followed Patrick’s lead of August 23 in imposing an infrastructure levy.

The association will seek Queensland Government intervention and has raised the matter with the Treasury Department and the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

It has questioned the legality of the levy and has pointed out that shipping companies already "collect a Terminal Handling Charge from shippers and consignees which specifically covers the cost of loading and unloading of trucks and trains".

In Patrick’s case, $17.75 plus GST per full container will be charged through the vehicle booking system from October 25.

DP World’s charge will be $18.30 plus GST.

Both charges will be covered by existing Carrier Access Arrangements including payment terms.

"Questions arise if the number of import/export containers increase or decrease into the future how the charges will be re-assessed and reviewed," QTA Chief Executive Peter Garske says.

"The current charges were determined by simple arithmetic in dividing their increased charges by the number of container movements. The review process information is not available. QTA Ltd and its membership are outraged at the arbitrary manner adopted by the two stevedores at the Port of Brisbane to impose this charge.

"The decision has been taken without any consideration of the impact on cash flow for trucking operators, nor their ability to recover the charge from their clients.

"QTA Ltd is concerned that the proposal by the stevedores is a misuse of market power by two companies who hold a monopoly to levy fees on trucking operators that can neither defend themselves nor have the ability to bargain."

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