Push back on DPW Australia levy increases
Arguments over infrastructure fees imposed by stevedores in Australia have intensified following a decision by DP World Australia (DPWA) to increase infrastructure levies at its Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne container terminals.
From 1 January, 2018, the new per container levies for transport operators (excluding goods and services tax) will be Brisbane $38.75, Sydney $37.65 and Melbourne $49.20, compared with the levies for 2017 of Brisbane $32.74, Sydney $21.16 and Melbourne $32.50. Payment terms for landside operators will be extended from 14 to 28 days.
DPWA has blamed tough market conditions for the increases, saying “…rising occupancy and energy costs (9.2% annually nationally over the past 10 years, and forecast to rise well ahead of CPI) have virtually negated recent efficiency gains”.
The company says there is a limit to what can be absorbed if it is to continue a capital expenditure and innovation programme.
However, transport operators, who have to pay the levy, are dismayed at the price hikes. Road Freight New South Wales general manager Simon O’Hara described the move as a “kick in the guts for truckies”, while Victorian Transport Association chief executive Peter Anderson described the increases as “incredibly unsettling” for an industry under pressure from shrinking margins and higher costs.
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