Blame game over Port Botany congestion

Stevedore Patrick and Sydney Ports Corporation have both distanced themselves from the severe congestion at the Port Botany terminal that caused angst among truck operators.

Questions over their incompetency to manage traffic were prompted by a massive truck queue that stretched for more than four kilometres at the terminal Tuesday morning.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) argued Patrick failed to provide operators with timely notice to mitigate confusion, causing hours of delay in processing times.

Faced with intense complaints, Sydney Ports said the congestion was caused by Patrick’s failure to abide by the mutually agreed communication protocols.

In a statement Sydney Ports said it “has developed existing action plans agreed with both stevedores on a communication procedure to notify industry on extensive delays at the port terminals.

“The procedure specifies that communication to industry will take place by the stevedores in the event of delays exceeding two hours.”

Despite cancelling around 50 slots, Patrick reportedly defended its action, saying it had improved its responsiveness to congestion compare to previous years.

Also brought up was the effectiveness of the port road taskforce, as part of the NSW Government’s supply chain reform initiative.

Led by Sydney Ports, the first phase of the reform is the industry-led improvement in port efficiency with the next phase involving government intervention to tackle issues not resolved by industry.

While devising long-term solutions is important, the industry argues, there should be an immediate short-term solution to avoid further traffic jam during the critical Christmas season.

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