Collateral damage due from Extinction Rebellion protest


Fuel import action hits stretched Sydney container logistics chain

Collateral damage due from Extinction Rebellion protest
An Extinction Rebellion protest: one is set to disrupt Port Botany haulage

 

Environmental activists targeting fuel imports have inadvertently added still more strain to a container logistics chain already struggling with global issues and local industrial action.

Extinction Rebellion plans to block fuel tankers on the corner of Friendship Road and Bumborah Point Road from access to the Vopak facility at Port Botany tomorrow.

In response, there will be a four-hour closure of stevedore DP World Australia’s nearby container terminal and a five-hour closure of the Port Botany Truck Marshalling Area (TMA).

ACFS will close its e-Depot empty container park(ECP) between 12.30 pm and 6.30pm in a move reported replicated at its E-Link and e-Depot 2 facilities.

NSW Ports is keen to see no trucks accessing Simblist or Friendship roads between 2.30pm and 6pm.

NSW Ports general manager operations and environment Jonathan Lafforgue tells Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) that "we predict that the blockage of just a single bulk liquid tanker at the corner of Friendship and Bumborah Point Road would cause a complete blockage of both Friendship and Simblist roads which could then potentially cause more significant traffic issues for Bumborah Point Road, and potentially Botany / Foreshore Road.

"Our aim is to try and keep as much of the port safely operating as possible, and by securely managing the protest area, landside operations at both Patrick and Hutchison, as well as ECPs [empty container parks] in other locations in Port Botany can continue."

CTAA director Neil Chambers notes that Transport for NSW will waive early arrival penalties because the TMA will not be available, and every effort will be taken to keep operations going at the Patrick and Hutchison Terminals during that time.

"Longer term, CTAA is indicating to NSW Ports, Transport for NSW, NSW Police and other authorities that if this protest group or any other seeks to repeat this level of protest action on a frequent basis, then contingency plans need to be prepared to minimise or negate serious economic trade disruption at Port Botany," Chambers tells CTAA members.

Meanwhile, more broadly, Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) industrial action at Patrick container terminals is seeing ship berthing delays of 3.5 days in Port Botany, with a month of further action to come, and two days in Fremantle with that expected to increase.

Port of Brisbane stoppages are planned for Tuesday and Wednesday.


Read about VICT’s announcement of terminal fee hikes, here


Meanwhile, Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) in Melbourne, which is hiking its landside ‘infrastructure surcharge on container haulage 8.2 per cent to $141.80, the nation’s highest, is facing consecutive 12-hour stoppages each day for six days starting on Friday.

The protected industrial actions (PIAs) are related to an ongoing enterprise agreement dispute.

VICT also intends to introduce a ‘premium slot fee’ of $109.50 plus GST to apply to late vehicle booking slot requests, and a ‘stack run in (empty)’ fee of 12.50 plus GS applying to each empty container delivered as a bulk run from empty container parks.

"In terms of the Empty fee, transport operators undertaking empty bulk runs on behalf of shipping lines will need to negotiate the fee pass through, as it conservatively represents a 20% increase in the total cost of empty bulk runs per container," CTAA tell members.  

"CTAA alliance companies have opposed the need for VICT to apply a premium slot fee, instead engaging in direct dialogue with VICT to consider changes to vehicle booking system (VBS) slot allocation processes (import and export) aimed at reducing to a bare minimum any need for transport operators to seek last minute slot requests."

 

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