CTAA welcomes liability cap increase in DPWA terminals

National move backed but issues like alternative slots after cancellation sought

CTAA welcomes liability cap increase in DPWA terminals
DPWA’s container truck damage cap has risen


Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) has welcomed a rise  in the ‘liability cap’ offered by DP World Australia (DPWA) for loss or damage caused to wharf carriers’ trucks or trailing equipment in its terminals across Australia.

The liability cap clauses are contained in DP World’s 2020 National Carrier Access Agreement (NCAA), which DP World requires container road transport operators to sign before July 1.

From then, the liability cap relating to the loss or damage a truck, trailer, car, or internal transfer vehicle will rise to $100,000 per event. The current cap is $15,000 per event.

"CTAA congratulates DP World on making this change to its terminal access conditions." CTAA director Neil Chambers says.

"The current liability cap of $15,000 has been of huge concern to transport operators and their insurance providers for a number of years.

"This is because damage to a prime mover or trailer caused by terminal loading equipment can easily surpass that level of damage."

"A $100,000 liability cap is a much fairer outcome, aligning DP World with the liability regime of other Australian container stevedores."

Read how CTAA highlighted the liability cap issue at DPWA, here

While CTAA sees this as a "win" for consistent advocacy on the issue, there are other matters associated with DPWA ‘s2020 NCAA that container transport operators still feel needs to be addressed in consultation with the stevedore.

One important issue is the commitment of the stevedore to provide suitable alternative container slots if DPWA cancels truck arrival time zones due to unforeseen circumstances, such as machinery breakdown, weather delays or industrial disputation.

"We appreciate that unforeseen circumstances can arise in anyone’s operations, sometimes at short notice," Chambers says.

"However, it is the commitment of the parties to recover from those operational disruptions which is important.

"We’ve suggested to DP World that they strengthen those provisions of their CAA for all of their terminals other than in Port Botany, where the NSW PBLIS Mandatory Standards dictate clear obligations on stevedores to provide comparable alternative time slots to affected wharf carriers."

Separately, container road transport operators are assessing DP World’s demands for financial guarantees for the coming financial year, and, where appropriate, are individually negotiating alternative forms of credit guarantee.


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