Container park reforms still lacking


Key efficiencies continue to elude industries involved in the storage and movement of shipping containers, according to the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia (CBFCA). <br /><br /> Trucking has been intimately involved in efforts to rationalise the handling of containers in and around Sydney and Melbourne and the costs involved, most industries affected believe more still needs to done CBFCA Freight and Business Operations Manager Paul Zalai noted that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently provided authorisation to arrangements allowing Melbourne nine empty container parks (ECPs) to introduce a container dehire notification system and associated charging regime on the transport sector.

By Rob McKay | September 26, 2011

Key efficiencies continue to elude industries involved in the storage and movement of shipping containers, according to the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia (CBFCA).

Trucking has been intimately involved in efforts to rationalise the handling of containers in and around Sydney and Melbourne and the costs involved, most industries affected believe more still needs to done.

CBFCA Freight and Business Operations Manager Paul Zalai noted that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently provided authorisation to arrangements allowing Melbourne nine empty container parks (ECPs) to introduce a container dehire notification system and associated charging regime on the transport sector.

He further noted that, post implementation, "most transport companies have sought to recover this cost, plus an additional fee for their administration of the new system, with increased transport rates and/or the introduction of a new container dehire".

Though this came "as no surprise", the CBFCA "remains concerned that the new container dehire notification system and additional cost structure does not centre on core ECP reform issues", Zalai says.

Specifically, this pertains to:

  • shipping line evacuation of empty containers
    to minimise park congestion
  • guaranteed service levels for truck turnaround times
  • a wider spread of operating hours across the entire supply chain noting that most empty container parks are continuing to only open nine hours per day during normal working days (weekends and public holidays excluded), making it difficult to dehire empty containers on the same day as unpack.

The CBFCA wants operational hours in Melbourne to match those established in Sydney, where major parks currently operate from 5.30am to 10pm during normal working days with some open on Saturdays, as is an initial benchmark.

"Ideally, the CBFCA is of the view that ECPs should be working the same operating hours as stevedores to maximise efficiency of transport operations," Zalai says.

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