VTA pushes container park reform

VTA hopes to see extended parking hours at shipping lines and container parks by January next year

By Ruza Zivkusic | November 26, 2010

The Victorian trucking lobby hopes to see extended parking hours at shipping lines and container parks by January next year.

The Victorian Transport Association believes the current cost to the transport industry is about $30 million a year for lifts and extra trips made due to container parks’ short opening hours.

VTA Deputy CEO Neil Chambers says up to 600 containers miss out on parks daily, with each charged $160.

"Those are the ones that have gone back to the yards unnecessarily," Chambers says.

"If the park was open until 6pm, the transport company would have some comfort that they could pick the empty container and take it straight to the park and then the truck is freed up for another job.

"We’re trying to get an understanding of how many of those are out there at any day of the week and how much it costs the transport industry the inefficiency of the park operating hours."

VTA met with the Empty Container Park Working Group recently to discuss ways of tackling the problem.

It found that the current volume of empty containers was at 345,573, up by 18 percent from last year, with food quality containers in tight supply.

Lines repatriation of surplus containers has returned to more normal levels, and the international container forecast is expected to grow at 7 percent in the short to medium term.

"Shipping lines don’t believe at present there is a financial benefit of a blanket levy across all parks but are happy to pay for individual parks as required," Chambers says.

Parks are not open on weekends in Victoria but the rest of the states have selected parks operating at extended hours.

The total container trade through the Port of Melbourne has set a new national record for October, handling over 217,000 twenty-foot equivalent units.

They have also reached a new high, handling a record of 7.28 million revenue tonnes, up by 7.6 percent from last year and 11.7 percent for the financial year to date.

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