Container transport group warns on RSRT inquiry

Container Transport Alliance says all container logistics players should have their say on investigation into the wharf cartage sector.

Container transport group warns on RSRT inquiry
The RSRT will examine container work practices at the ports of Adelaide, Brisbane, Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney.


The newly-formed advocacy group Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) is urging landside container logistics service providers to have their say an inquiry into the wharf cartage sector.

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) has announced it will be examining the practices at Australia’s five major ports.

Following its investigations, the RSRT will have the power to issue orders on payment terms and conditions for operators and drivers working in the sector if it believes doing so will improve road safety.

CTAA says the RSRT could have far-reaching influence on issues beyond driver pay. 

"There is obvious continuous improvement necessary in the whole container transport logistics chain," CTAA director Gerard Langes says.

"The difficulties generally arise due to the disconnect between the contractual arrangements within the chain and operational relationships required to ensure efficiency."

But he says the RSRT will provide a very blunt stick if it decides to institute changes to the market.

"An order from the RSRT could significantly and permanently change the nature of container transport," he says.

The CTAA says the RSRT could institute an Australia-wide scheme similar to the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy (PBLIS) that regulats the landside interface in Sydney.

"For my mind, rather than using an institution established to investigate links between driver remuneration and safety, the first step in improving the wharf-container transport interface is to have a more equitable service level agreement between the stevedores and container transport operators," Langes says.

CTAA is calling for all parties in the landside container logistics chain to provide their views on the RSRT inquiry, which will be consolidated into a CTAA submission before the inquiry’s closing date of March 27.

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