VTA slames DPWA price hikes as 'insensitive'
THE Victorian Transport Association has described stevedore DP World Australia's increase to ancillary charges at its terminals at the Port of Melbourne and around Australia as "insensitive" and coming at a time when the transport industry was already facing economic headwinds because of the coronavirus.
In a strongly worded communication to members, VTA CEO Peter Anderson said the charges fall under non-prescribed services within the port supply chain and therefore have no regulation attached to their application.
"Now is not the time for rate increases," Anderson said.
"It is disappointing that at a time when the transport industry is working together as never before to overcome the catastrophe COVID-19 has unleased on Australians and the economy, DP World has opted to increase its ancillary charge on wharf carriers servicing its terminals at ports around Australia."
Mr Anderson said the 40% increase in charges for 'no-shows' by DP World showed a flagrant disregard and insensitivity to the environment every supply chain participant is facing.
"There are many businesses that are not only trying to survive with reduced revenues but are having to readjust their whole business model to try and keep their staff, at least on part pay, and to ensure that they can remain sustainable until the crisis has finished," Anderson said.
Anderson called on DP World to give wharf carriers more time to prepare for the increase, which is set to take effect from 1 May.
"Four weeks is not enough time to prepare customers for passing on the increase, which is what wharf carriers must do for their businesses to remain sustainable. Wharf carriers are already doing it tough and don't have the capacity to absorb another raid on their cash flow, which is effectively what this latest increase will create.
"It would at least show some balance if DP World Australia was to extend trading terms to 60 days and remove the late arrival fee for at least six months," he said.