New container detention rules will hurt industry

The decision of major container shipping lines to reduce the free time available for import containers to be de-hired and for export containers to be returned full for export will increase international trade costs inAustralia, and will reduce profitability and competitiveness.

Effective from 1 August 2012, major shipping lines Maersk Line, ANL, CGM-CMA, and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) have changed their container free time and container detention tariffs charged to importers and exporters.

In most cases, the import container free time period has been reduced from ten (10) calendar days to seven (7) calendar days.

This means that from the first day of availability (and from the day of discharge for some lines), importers will have only seven (7) days for the container to be collected from the wharf, delivered to the unpack point, unpacked, and then returned for de-hire to a designated empty container park.

The chief executive of the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) Neil Chambers described these tighter container detention rules as

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