FTA deems container fees unreasonable


The FTA is leading a move to change container detention fees at Australian ports

FTA deems container fees unreasonable
The FTA is working against current container shipping fees

The Freight and Trade Alliance (FTA), along with the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA), is announcing that members have cited examples of the "unreasonable administration of container detention fees" at Australian ports.

The FTA says member evidence is being used as part of a supplementary submission to the productivity commission that is aiming to end container detention fees.

"Our industry is paying more than one billion dollars per annum for fees in addition to record high freight rates and surcharges," the FTA says.

The FTA’s joint statement with APSA says the fees being brought up by members are terminal access charges and container detention fees.

"What is clearly a windfall for foreign owned shipping lines contributing to their multi-billion-dollar annual profits, is adding to the current cost of living and inflationary pressures being felt across Australia," the FTA and APSA say.

"Charges are being passed down the supply chain which adversely affects manufacturers, farmers, rural communities and consumers."

Since the FTA and APSA provided a submission on February 11, they say the operational environment is worsening.

According to the groups, operating hours have been limited by "vessel bunching", causing facilities to receive empty containers, resulting in extreme supply chain labour shortages and detention clocks starting at a time when cargo is physically unavailable for collection from the wharf.

The FTA and APSA say that they are engaging with the department of agriculture, water and environment to improve efficiency, but members continue to report excessive delays in booking requests at freight terminals and ports.

"This is hitting hard – everyone from major retailers through to small businesses," the two bodies say.

"Freight forwarders, customs brokers and transport companies are left with the unenviable task of explaining this unbudgeted and unreasonable fee to importers and exporters costing anywhere from hundreds of dollars per consignment up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in some circumstances."

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