Australian stevedore DP World Australia (DPWA) will take delivery of four new ZPMC quayside container cranes next month, for its Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne terminals. The cranes departed China on 11 February, loaded on the Zhen Hua 21 vessel. DPWA’s Brisbane and Sydney terminals are both set to receive one crane each, and two cranes will be delivered to the Melbourne Terminal. According to DPWA, the cranes, which were built in Shanghai, have the latest in electrical technology, efficient operating systems and improved ergonomics for operator comfort. The delivery is the first part of an order for a total of nine cranes for DPWA, an additional five cranes are to be delivered to DPWA’s Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle terminals in mid-2018.
Western Australia’s McGowan Government has implemented financial incentives to reduce truck congestion and get more freight on rail to Fremantle Port. As committed prior to the last election, the container rail subsidy increased from $30 to $50 per Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) from 1 January 2018. The plan aims to reduce truck traffic on roads around Fremantle Port by encouraging more freight on rail. The Western Australian Government’s integrated plan for freight and trade includes a target to boost rail mode share to 20 per cent – an increase of approximately five per cent. The subsidy will be paid for all loaded containers that move between North Quay Rail Terminal (NQRT), Forrestfield and Kwinana, as well as for containers filled with hay received by rail at NQRT for export. “Increasing the rail share for container haulage is one of several initiatives to improve efficiencies at the Inner Harbour to facilitate trade growth until additional port facilities are viable,” the Government said in a statement, adding that others include supporting the development of the Westport: Port and Environs Strategy; development of the broader rail supply chain, including intermodal facilities; and upgrading road infrastructure linkages around the inner harbour. “The rail service plays a significant role in achieving greater efficiency in the container supply chain as well as improving community amenity and environmental benefits along metropolitan roads that link to Fremantle Port,” said Western Australian Transport Minister Rita Saffioti. “That is why the McGowan Government has delivered on its election commitment to increase the container rail subsidy to encourage more container movements on the port rail service.”
Container port operator DP World Australia has announced changes in leadership for its Fremantle operations and Continuous Improvement business unit. Replacing Luke Westlake as Fremantle General Manager Operations will be Stefan Reynolds, effective 11 December 2017. For the past nine months, Reynolds has led process improvement projects in Melbourne and nationally as Head of Continuous Improvement, Operations. “With over 10 years’ operational experience in the container transport and logistics field, Stefan brings a high calibre of operational and change leadership experience to Fremantle,” said Max Kruse, Chief Operations Officer – Terminals, DP World Australia. “In his recent position as Manager of Capacity, Planning, Gate and Operations Projects with Ports of Auckland, Stefan worked closely with a large team as well as other departments, to continuously focus and strive for exceptional levels of performance and customer service.” In Melbourne, Troy Sparkman will join the DPWA team as Head of Continuous Improvement, Operations, effective 30 October 2017. According to Kruse, Sparkman has 28 years’ experience in the rail transport and logistics industry, and worked in most states and regional areas of Australia during that time. “Troy has a significant understanding of supply chain and operational management,” Kruse added. “Having held general manager roles with Aurizon, most recently as the General Manager service delivery for the interstate intermodal business, and Regional Integration Manager responsible for operational optimisation and transformation of the Hunter Valley and West Moreton supply chains.”
Effective 30 October 2017, DP World Australia will introduce a charge at its Fremantle Terminal as part of the basis for which access to the terminal is granted, for both road and rail operators. “The announcement by DP World that it will impose an Infrastructure Surcharge of $8.22 on all full containers handled through its Fremantle Terminal from 30 October 2017 is yet another example of stevedore monopolistic behaviour, and again highlights the lack of an adequate response from Australia’s competition watchdog and Australia’s Federal and State Governments,” said Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) director Neil Chambers. “Having seemingly got away with it on the east coast by imposing new and significant increased Infrastructure Surcharges in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane earlier this year, DP World has again got its hand in the pockets of container transporters and their import & export clients, this time on the west coast. “These Infrastructure Surcharges are almost double those imposed by Patrick Terminals in Fremantle in July ($4.76 per full container), and are being imposed on a unilateral basis with no consultation with those expected to pay. “Mid this year, ACCC chairman Rod Sims, offered a view publicly seemingly linking the east coast fee hikes with the negative aspects of port privatisation. What then is the ACCC chairman’s view about it happening (again) in a publicly owned major capital city port? “As observed by our freight forwarder and shipper representative colleagues, Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA), it’s now clear that we’ve descended into a commercial container logistics chain pricing model where the end-payer doesn’t get to decide or have any influence over the outcome. “The position of CTAA Alliance companies remains the same (again): the stevedores should either absorb increased operating costs, improve their productivity, or negotiate their collection through their commercial clients, the shipping lines. “As we said when Patrick Terminals made its Fremantle Infrastructure Surcharges public in June, it is very disturbing that the stevedores can simply offset their rising costs by unilaterally implementing levies on parties in the supply chain who have no strong contractual relationship with the stevedores, with no consultation and at short notice. “How is the money to be collected by DP World going to be spent in Fremantle? The statement by DP World claims that they have ‘invested in critical infrastructure to keep pace with industry expectations’,” Mr Chambers said.
Container handling technology manufacturer Kalmar, part of Cargotec, will deliver 38 new machines to DP World Australia’s recently launched logistics arm, DP World Logistics Australia. The order includes seven Kalmar reachstackers, and 11 loaded and 20 empty container handlers. So far, 22 units have successfully been delivered to DP World Logistics Australia’s Botany Intermodal terminal, with the remaining equipment to be delivered by September 2017. The new machines add to DP World Australia’s existing fleet of Kalmar rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs), straddle carriers and terminal tractors and will serve operations in Sydney, Melbourne, Fremantle and DP World Australia’s semi-automated terminal in Brisbane. The Kalmar reachstackers will be equipped with Kalmar K-Motion transmission technology, which secures uptime and productivity while reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Four units will also include overheight legs. All the Kalmar machines will be powered by Volvo IV Final engines to meet emissions standards and will feature the Kalmar SmartFleet system for performance-boosting remote monitoring and reporting. “Kalmar won a competitive tender to renew, and increase, our fleet of machines in all our facilities around Australia,” said Ron French, National Engineering Manager at DP World Australia. “Our existing relationship gave us leverage to secure the best outcome for DP World Australia, with respect to pricing, service and ongoing support. The K-Motion option was very attractive due to lower fuel consumption and environmental impact.” Michael Wahab, Director Mobile Equipment at Kalmar, added, “We are happy to continue to serve DP World Logistics Australia with reliable and efficient equipment tailored to their needs. The units are also equipped with environmentally conscious technology, including innovative K-Motion technology to significantly lessen fuel usage and reduce emissions by up to 40 per cent.”
Australia’s competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), should take over regulating toll road and landside port charges, Ben Maguire CEO of the Australian Truck Association said on 28 July. The Australian Government is considering setting up an independent regulator to control truck and bus registration charges and road user charges that truck and bus operators pay on fuel. Maguire commented that the independent regulator – ultimately the ACCC – should be responsible for toll road and landside port charges as well. “Toll road charges for trucks are growing rapidly,” he added. “Small trucking businesses simply cannot afford them. Although these charges are set by state governments, the arrangements for setting them are not transparent and do not take into account costs across the supply chain. “The ATA and its members have similar concerns about landside port charges. “Earlier in 2017, DP World unilaterally increased the infrastructure surcharge at its Melbourne terminal and imposed a new surcharge of $21.16 per container at its Port Botany terminal. ATA member association Road Freight NSW pointed out that the Port Botany surcharge could cost carriers up to $150,000 per year. “Separately, Patrick increased its existing surcharges this month, and introduced a $4.76 surcharge per container at its Fremantle terminal and a $25.45 surcharge per container at its Port Botany terminal. “These charge increases cannot be avoided by trucking operators – they have not been subject to detailed regulatory scrutiny, they simply build additional costs into Australia’s supply chains. “To fix these problems, heavy-vehicle tolls and landside port charges should be set by the road-price regulator, which should ultimately be the ACCC or a dedicated body established under its Act.” Maguire said governments must start the reform process by fixing the overcharging of truck and bus operators. “Truck and bus operators will be overcharged by $264.8 million in 2017–18. The meter is ticking up by more than $725,000 per day,” he noted. “It’s time for governments to take action and stop overcharging the hard-working small businesses that make up the vast majority of operators in our industry.”
The Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) has reported that it continues to receive enquiries from its members about storage and ‘dehire’ (return) detention fees for import sea freight consignments targeted for Container Examination Facility (CEF) processing. As a part of their joint submission to the Federal Government’s Inquiry into Freight & Supply Chain Priorities, the FTA and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) has recommended that CEF-targeted containers have storage arrangements prescribed in Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle ports, to meet the benchmark established in Sydney under the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy (PBLIS) Mandatory Standards. Specifically, PBLIS clause 17, which mandates that stevedores must provide free storage for the day the container is returned from the CEF, and the two following days. While the Australian Border Forced and the PBLIS have introduced a level of relief against stevedores fees for CEF-targeted containers, the FTA noted, to date there are no similar arrangements in place with shipping lines. Whether or not reporting has been completed within prescribed timelines, shipping lines commonly charge a fee if containers are not dehired to an empty container park within agreed terms. The FTA and the APSA have brought this matter to the attention of the Inquiry, seeking a fairer and more reasonable operational outcome allowing extended free container dehire periods. A fact sheet has been prepared which outlines the current statutory and operational procedures for dealing with CEF targeted containers.
The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has advised members to pass on in full increases to infrastructure surcharges announced on 9 June by stevedore Patrick. Patrick will introduce a new surcharge at its Sydney and Fremantle terminals, $25.45 per box and $4.76 per box, respectively. The surcharge at its Fisherman Islands and East Swanson Dock terminals will increase by $32.55 per box and $32 per box, respectively. It will also increase its ancillary charges due to increased labour and energy costs. The new rates will take effect on 19 July. Peter Anderson, CEO, VTA, said operators had no choice but to pass on the higher surcharge. “At a time when operators are facing unprecedented increases to infrastructure and road user charges in and around the Port of Melbourne, it is important to ensure the increases are passed on through the supply chain for freight businesses to remain sustainable and viable in a competitive trading environment,” he said. “Customers need to understand that the costs of doing business for transport operators are increasing rapidly, and that transactional costs such as this surcharge ultimately must be worn by consumers of goods and services.” Anderson commended Patrick for extending one-stop trading terms from seven to 30 days, which will help operators transition and adjust for the changes to the surcharge.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union has welcomed the WA National Party’s decision to side with WA Labor in Parliament to block Liberal Premier Colin Barnett’s fire sale of Fremantle Port. AMWU State Secretary Steve McCartney said the decision would ensure the port was run to benefit all Western Australians, and not just for narrow private interests. “The only way we can be sure that essential infrastructure like Fremantle Port is run in the public interest, is if it stays in public hands,” Mr McCartney said. “This decision ends the likelihood of a private owner ramping up port fees to increase profits at the expense of Western Australian workers and local business.”