FTA and CTAA in container detention call

Shipping lines asked to revise detention terms over holiday period

FTA and CTAA in container detention call
Neil Chambers


Industry representative bodies Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) say they have received feedback from major shipping lines that they will consider extending container detention over the Easter and ANZAC Day public holiday period only on a "case by case" basis.

FTA director Paul Zalai says that a revised response is warranted seeing that the empty container depots contracted by the shipping lines will be closed on the upcoming public holidays.

"So, where do they expect the empty containers to be returned? Perhaps we should just have them stacked outside the shipping lines’ plush city offices?" he says.

Zalai states that FTA would be delighted to showcase any shipping line that offers a blanket extension of container detention over the next two weeks.

"In the absence of such advice, importers, freight forwarders and customs brokers should review their consignment timings and immediately test shipping lines by requesting empty container ‘free time’ extensions to avoid significant container detention bills," he says.

In addition, continuing union work bans are still affecting some container terminals, delaying the container logistics chain even further.

CTAA director Neil Chambers adds: "It’s unrealistic for the import sector or shipping lines to believe that transport operators will work miracles and magically be able to de-hire all the empties within the times imposed".

"Transport companies are frankly over this burden," he continues.

"They are enforcing their terms to require adequate business days’ notice of empties being available for de-hire.

"Also, they are telling their clients that they will not be responsible for the added costs of container detention where the delays are due to depot closures/lack of operating hours, or other reasons outside of their control.

"The spirit of Easter and ANZAC Day could be easily dampened by costly container detention bills from shipping lines. [It is] time for importers and their freight forwarding and logistics providers to push back."

Earlier this month, Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) also called on major shipping lines to provide truck operators with a ‘moratorium’ on detention charges for the drop-off and pick-up of containers at empty container parks (ECPs) around Sydney over the Easter holiday period.

Read more on RFNSW's statement, here

RFNSW chief executive Simon O’Hara said the urgent request to extend detention-free days was warranted as the majority of ECPs will be open for just three days over the extended Easter-Anzac Day holiday period. 


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