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Patrick imposes more costs on container haulage

Stevedore cites cost of improvements but industry highlights lack of dialogue

 

Patrick is adding to the unabated growth in stevedores’ unregulated charges on trucking, reigniting container haulage concern.

Road Freight New South Wales (RFNSW) has already highlighted its members’ concern, with CEO Simon O’Hara observing they include “a new charge for vehicles that add productivity to the NSW economy”.

O’Hara relates an unnamed operator telling him recently: “At Patrick and Hutch we have to reverse into the A Double bays, DPW drive in.

“I believe at times Patrick has kicked out drivers who have taken too long to reverse into bay for loading/unloading with A Doubles.

“Now they are charging ($50 per vehicle) and penalising carriers for the sake of trying to be efficient. Note; it does not state of per truck trip just per vehicle?

“I’m assuming they will charge per truck trip each time the truck is in terminal just like Sideloader.”

At the time, O’Hara said there had been no consultation or discussion regarding the long-vehicle fee.

In a notice to the industry, Patrick justifies the hike by saying it is embarking on a two year $150 million investment program to “deliver on-going improvement in landside service levels to the benefit of its customers”.


Read about Patrick’s recent variance fee, here


The landside charge recovers a portion of the costs that relate to: capital investments and commitments made to dedicated infrastructure that services its landside interface operations; associated maintenance and operational costs; and property and property related costs.

RFNSW’s summary of new or increased charges for the state is:

  • Cargolink now $44.75 was $20
  • Vehicle Booking System now $29.50 was $20
  • Terminal access charge for export and import containers was $114.50/$82.50 now $117.85/$84.90
  • Long Vehicle Fee now $50 per truck trip
  • Sideloader fee $62.50.

Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) says it has raised concerns with Patrick over a lack of evidence that Higher Productivity Freight Vehicles (HPFVs) and impact on terminal efficiency and productivity and calls for its withdrawal.

“CTAA continues to draw to the attention of Federal & State Governments, their respective transport departments, and to port operators, the need for assistance and regulatory oversight to help balance the uneven commercial power relationship between landside stakeholders and stevedore companies,” it states in a notice to industry.

“At the very least, immediate assistance is required in progressing consultative dialogue between Patrick Terminals and road transport operators on their genuine concerns about Patrick’s imposed fee increases due to be implemented on 1 March 2021.

“Unfortunately, voluntary measures to increase transparency and consultation on stevedore landside charges & fee increases, particularly the Victorian Government’s Voluntary Pricing Protocol, have failed to assist as, in this instance, Patrick has not adhered to all the protocol’s notification processes.”

 

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