Surprise Patrick container damage reporting changes

By: Rob McKay

Stevedore clarifies system change to container trucking enterprises

Surprise Patrick container damage reporting changes
Patrick’s container reporting changes caught the industry in the hop


Container stevedore Patrick has sought to clarify its move to improve its damaged container processing system.

The first many in the port container trucking segment knew of the reform was a notice in container chain efficiency service 1-Stop on Friday.

This merely noted that Patrick management would "no longer issue damage acknowledgments to truck drivers regarding damaged containers. If a container is damaged the Shipping Line will contact Patrick directly. "

Given the level of distrust of shipping lines in parts of the landside chain relating to container charges, there was immediate concern over the weekend, particularly at the busy Port of Melbourne, with Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) seeking an explanation urgently.

As it happened, Patrick is bringing Melbourne into line with practices in Fisherman Islands (FI) at the Port of Brisbane, at its Autostrad terminal, and Port Botany (PB) in Sydney.

A Patrick spokesperson passed to ATN a message to the landside industry from East Swanson Dock (ESD) terminal manager Chris Brewster.

This says: "To clarify on last week’s announcement regarding damaged containers at ESD and apologies that it wasn’t clearer.

We are putting in place a more efficient process, whereby truckers won’t have to do a u-turn and go back to the R&D office to have paperwork written up. Instead, they will proceed to the exit gate and notify security of the damage, the cameras will record an image of the damage and these photos can then be accessed for evidence as required

In line with FI and PB terminals we won’t issue a physical damage acknowledgement to truck drivers

If a truck is damaged while at Patrick ESD please inform the control tower and our normal incident investigation will take place

 If you believe a container is too damaged for safe transport on the road, please inform the control tower and they will assist."

CTAA reports Patrick Brisbane Autostrad Terminal manager Matt Hollamby as explaining the concept there.

"Truck drivers are at liberty, indeed encouraged, to log damage with us at the out gate," Hollamby is quoted as saying.

"This information is objectively validated by our camera system which captures the state of the container at the point it leaves our control.

"This information is provided to shipping lines in relation to damage claims which may arise and generally provides conclusive evidence as to condition ... In short, the old system was paper based and had no technical back up; the current system dispenses with paper and provides photographic evidence."

CTAA advises container transport operators in Melbourne, and as necessary in the other capital city ports, revisit their standard operating instructions to ensure that drivers know to bring identified container damage to the attention of security at the terminal out gate so that photos can record the damage before the vehicle departs.

"It may be prudent also to ensure that you have processes in place to capture your own photographic evidence as soon as possible once the container is taken to its next destination," it says.

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