‘Price war’ to blame for Australian handling hikes

The Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) has blamed a “price war to win shipping line contracts” for hefty hikes in infrastructure charges imposed by Australian stevedoring companies.

Neil Chambers, director of the CTAA, told Port Strategy that there has been a “rebalancing” away from quayside revenue to landside revenue collection. Intensifying competition on the country’s east coast has meant that terminals have failed to secure higher rates from shipping lines.

Terminals had argued that increasing land and rental costs had forced them to pass on the cost burden to road and rail operators, and in turn on to Australian importers and exporters.

However, speaking in the January/February 2019 issue of Port Strategy, Mr Chambers said: “It is far less about rising stevedoring costs. Those initial statements from stevedores have been largely debunked. Hence the call on the Federal and/or State Governments to intervene to regulate this pricing behaviour.”

The CTAA preferred route would see the introduction of service level agreements, with undertakings on both sides regarding levels of performance, and monetary compensation for poor performance.

Read more in the January/February 2019 copy of Port Strategy  click here to secure your exclusive copy.

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