Roozendaal talks up Botany reforms

Despite delaying paid waiting times for truck drivers at Port Botany, NSW Government says reforms will deliver improvements

December 2, 2010

NSW Ports and Waterways Minister Eric Roozendaal is talking up the benefits of transport reforms at Port Botany, as container trade continues to grow.

Roozendaal yesterday approved the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy (PBLIS), which will penalise stevedores which force truck drivers to queue at the port.

Sydney Ports will also be given the power to seet the rail price for rail servicing at the stevedore terminals.

The reforms were meant to take effect by the end of the September but will introduced progressively and be fully operational by early next year.

"The aim of these regulations and standards is to drive improved efficiency and consistency between stevedores and truck carriers," Roozendaal says.

"This means if a truck operator is forced to wait, the stevedores must pay the trucking operator for the time they wait.

"With container trade through Port Botany reaching record levels, we need to ensure performance levels of stevedores and carriers improve to ensure the international competitiveness of the port."

Roozendaal says the latest trade figures from October show the port recorded its 13th container trade record on a month-by-month basis.

In October, container trade reached 180,180 twenty-foot equivalent units – an increase of 1.8 per cent on the same month last year.

Container trade performance for the financial year to October 31 increased by 11.2 per cent based on the same time last year, while containerised exports were on par with 2009 results.

Chemicals, iron and steel, cereals and paper products were cited as the strongest exports during the month.

Imports grew significantly, with chemicals rising by 17.5 percent and paper products by 16 percent. Total trade for the financial year to October 31 increased by 6.2 percent compared to the same time last year.

Machinery and transport imports grew by 8.2 percent. The leading import regions were East Asia, Europe and South East Asia. All three accounted for 77.8 percent of total container imports.

The first part of the PBLIS reform will be gathering landside performance information from stevedores and setting a new rail service charge to reduce the number of trucks on the road.

Trucking operators are currently penalised by stevedores for late arrivals, but the trucking industry has until now had no recourse for delays imposed by DP World and Patrick.

"Through the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy we are ensuring fairness and equity along the supply chain," Roozendaal says.

"We are redressing the balance in the relationship between stevedores and truck drivers so that they both have standards that must be adhered to and penalties will be applied if they are not."

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