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Prime Mover Magazine

Key trade groups call on ACCC to intervene on port taxes

Pivotal transport and trade bodies have formed a coalition in opposition to unilateral terminal access charging by stevedores.

Road Freight New South Wales (RFNSW), the Freight and Trade Alliance (FTA), Western Roads Federation (WRF) and the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) will attempt to intervene on plans by the Hutchinson Ports Sydney to introduce a new surcharge on import and export containers.

The $10.45 levy will be applied to all laden import and export containers at the terminal from June 25.

This follows recent decisions by DP World Australia and Patrick to introduce respective levies of $37.65 and $41.10 to offset increasing costs to equipment and infrastructure. The proceeds, the stevedores have claimed, will be used to “provide and maintain efficient terminal landside operation.”

RFNSW CEO Simon O’Hara said he was extremely disappointed by what he called a round of blatant price gouging by the stevedores.

“The stevedores seem to introduce and increase their so-called infrastructure surcharges whenever they feel like it, using transport carriers as their ATMS,” he said.

“With no intervention from government or the regulators, our members are easy targets, getting gouged by all three stevedores who are clearly using their market power to impose these unfair charges and cannot explain the purpose or the rationale behind them. It must stop,” O’Hara said.

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