SPC gives PBLIS thumbs up in annual report


Sydney Ports Corporation has used the release of its annual report for 2010/11 to hail improvements wrought by the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy (PBLIS). The strategy, which came into effect on February 28, allows for both container stevedores and trucking operators to be fined if slots fail to be fulfilled. Since then, the system had consistently reduced truck average turnarounds at Port Botany from more than 50 minutes to about 30 minutes per truck, according to the Corporation.

By Rob McKay | November 29, 2011

Sydney Ports Corporation (SPC)
has used the release of its annual report for 2010/11 to hail improvements wrought by the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy (PBLIS).

The strategy, which came into effect on February 28, allows for both container stevedores and trucking operators to be fined if slots fail to be fulfilled.

Since then, the system had consistently reduced truck average turnarounds at Port Botany from more than 50 minutes to about 30 minutes per truck, according to the Corporation.

"Before we introduced new regulations, including penalty payments to truck carriers when stevedores failed to meet regulated standards, there were no incentives for stevedores to service trucks in a quick and timely fashion, Sydney Ports CEO Grant Gilfillan says.

"PBLIS is Australia’s first landside operational performance management scheme for ports and is already improving the efficiency, consistency and transparency of road and rail operations at Port Botany."

The report says this is aimed at allowing the port supply chain to "build to a fully 24/7 operation"

"This first phase, supported by a manual Operational Performance System, has seen not only faster truck turns, but a flattening of the truck movement graph so that there are fewer truck movements in the peak period of weekday mornings and there is a corresponding increase in truck movements in the weekend and the off-peak periods of the week," it adds.

It appears that the Corporation believes that this issue is under control, given that it says it will now "turn its attention to rail".

Rail is an ongoing problem, with its share of the Port Botany burden falling from 19 percent the previous year to 14 percent in 2010-11. But trucking critics believe Corporation might be premature in shifting focus now
and that it is being simplistic in its analysis of the effects of PBLIS.

While acknowledging the improvement in stevedoring behaviour and turnaround times, they point to shortfall in the rest of the supply chain’s acceptance of 24/7 working, especially amongst importers and empty container parks.

This has led to diversion and storage costs being borne by operators that cannot be passed on and that have led to the loss of demurrage charges that could have been used to recoup costs, they say.

While the Corporation highlighted to progress towards Port Botany expansion and the entry of Hutchison as the third stevedore, questions still remain on what effect that will have on Patrick’s and DP World’s commitment to working 24/7 if they have less work to do.

Meanwhile, other 2010/11 highlights for the Corporation included: the PBLIS truck marshalling site being identified; container traffic exceeding 2 million for the first time; completion of construction and fit-out of a new Operations Centre at Port Botany; the Vessel Traffic Services System relocated from Millers Point in Sydney to Port Botany; and growth in the cruise market of 29 percent.

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