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DP World latest stevedore to slug operators with price hikes

stevedores

DP World (DPW) is the latest stevedore to incur the wrath of transport bosses for yet another round of price hikes in a pandemic.

DPW announced this week that its new terminal access charges – now more than 100% higher than they were just three years ago – will come into effect from May 1.

Queensland Trucking Association CEO Gary Mahon said he is gravely concerned at what he called the anti-competitive pricing behaviour of Port of Brisbane’s stevedoring companies.

“The road freight industry cannot and should not be the cash cow for each stevedore’s balance sheets,” said Mahon.

“This sustained year-on-year gouging of the road freight industry has recently reached a tipping point with ever increasing complaints received by the QTA from members.”

Transport for NSW CEO Simon O’Hara said DPW’s fee hikes could not come at a worse time for operators at Port Botany in Sydney.

Patrick also recently increased its 2021 fees, which include a reversing fee and sideloader fee (amongst others), and prior to that Hutchinson announced a massive infrastructure/access surcharge increase at the port in January.

“It’s time the industry re-adjust their mindset to quarterly increases from stevedores and others at the port,” said O’Hara.

“Given the continual farcical nature of these increases, what if anything does TfNSW, the NTC, ACCC and the NSW minister propose to do about continued supply chain cost increases at Australia’s biggest port for no discernible return to landside operators and during the single biggest global and economic decline since the Great Depression?”

DPW said the price increases at its Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne terminals were simply in recognition of the “unprecedented challenges faced by consumers and businesses grappling with the effects of Covid-19”.

But Mahon – and the ACCC for that matter – aren’t buying that argument.

“Analysis by QTA of ACCC data indicates that these fee increases are certainly not justified on the basis of stevedoring companies own costs, such as labour, equipment and property charges,” added Mahon.

The new DPW charges per full container are as follows:

Export Containers

  • Brisbane: $89.50
  • Sydney: $89.50
  • Melbourne: $89.50

Import Containers

  • Brisbane: $124.00
  • Sydney: $126.60
  • Melbourne: $139.20
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