RFNSW outcry on DP World access agreement deadline

O’Hara says it is ‘unfair’ that truck operators are given just two days to review and renew agreements

RFNSW outcry on DP World access agreement deadline
O'Hara says RFNSW has sought clarification from DP World Australia on why the agreements were not sent out earlier.


Road Freight New South Wales (RFNSW) is urging DP World Australia to afford "appropriate" time for freight carriers to review the changes to the National Carrier Access Agreement.

In March this year, the stevedoring company had announced its plan to introduce major port access charges in Melbourne and Sydney, six years after imposing similar changes at its Brisbane port.

On Wednesday – two days before the implementation date of the upcoming infrastructure surcharges – DP World Australia sent out the carrier access agreement to its customers, a move that has peeved the road freight body.

RFNSW GM Simon O’Hara says the timeframe set by the stevedoring firm is unreasonable given in the past road freight carriers were given at least 14 to 30 days to renew their agreement.

"Frankly, this timeframe is unreasonable and unfair to our members, who spend most of their time on the road," O’Hara says.

"This is a legal agreement which our members need to carefully consider and if necessary, seek appropriate legal advice on, to ensure their ongoing access to the terminal is commercially fair and balanced and not disadvantaging them in any way.

"This simply cannot be done in a matter of days which is what our members are being asked to do.

"You wouldn’t expect people to sign a mortgage document, or a business contract or stevedores to sign with shipping lines on matters that could impact their livelihood, in just a few days.

"It shouldn’t be any different for our members being asked to sign their National Carrier Access Agreement."

It is an issue Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) has also raised.

The company on its parts says the carrier access agreements are no surprise to the landside sector as they are sent out annually to all DP World Australia customers.

RFNSW states it has sought clarification on why the stevedore did not sent out the agreements earlier.

It is also urging the stevedore to grant operators more time to "properly review" and understand the details of the updated agreement.

O’Hara ponders what will happen in case a trucking company is not able to return the signed agreement by the end of the day today.

"Will they be stopped from operating," he asks.

"What effect will this have on the NSW economy?"

DP World has so far defended its move and says landside transport operators must pay their share of the infrastructure improvement costs. 

ATN has sought DP World Australia’s response in this matter.

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