DP World to impose major port access charges

By: Rob McKay

Sydney and Melbourne bear brunt of infrastructure surcharges now in force in Brisbane

DP World to impose major port access charges
DP World in introducing Brisbane-style charges in Melbourne as well as Sydney


More straws are being loaded onto consumers’ and landside port terminal users’ backs with stevedore DP World adding container surcharges in Melbourne and Sydney.

The stevedore put responsibility for its ‘infrastructure surcharge’ squarely with port operators and government, though highlighted the need to also pay for its own investments.

Sydney haulage operators and shippers face a new $21.16 per container charge and Melbourne one of $32.50 per container from April 3.

This will apply to all full containers received or delivered on road or rail and DP World says it is unable to offset the extra costs.

Full containers received or delivered by road will be charged to the road carrier through the 1-Stop Vehicle Booking System while those on rail will be charged to the rail operator as a separate item on the rail invoices produced.

The message to customers from DP World Australia (DPWA) chief commercial officer Brian Gillespie differed somewhat between the two cities.

For Sydney, Gillespie says: "Since 2013, DPWA has incurred material increases in the costs of occupancy of more than 30%, including the cost of council rates, land tax, rent and terminal infrastructure maintenance.

Over the same period, DPWA avoided passing these costs onto the supply chain, by changing the way Sydney Terminal operated, delivering a 35% improvement in road efficiency for carriers and 37% improvement in rail productivity.

"This investment also includes increases in costs of terminal upkeep driven by higher use of the site by road and rail operators."

The costs include an increase of terminal upkeep driven by higher use of the site by road and rail operators and the company says it is also investing in critical infrastructure to keep pace with expected growth, and greater peaks and troughs in cargo arrival patterns.

For Melbourne, Gillespie says it has "incurred material increases in the costs of occupancy of more than 60% since 2016, including higher rent, land tax and council rates".

He adds that it is "important to note that a substantial part of our Melbourne Terminal, including our dedicated truck marshalling area, is devoted to servicing road transport, and that the cost of providing this specialist infrastructure has, like Melbourne Terminal as a whole, been subject to the cost increases".

The moves come some six years after both DP World and Patrick introduced infrastructure surcharges at the Port of Brisbane to cover "unsustainable cost increases" there before privatisation.

At DP World, that charge in now $32.74 plus GST.

ATN is waiting on haulage industry responses to the new charges.


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