THE imposition of infrastructure surcharges by stevedores was just one of the major issues discussed in a meeting between the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia (CBFCA) and the ACCC.
The meeting occurred last week.
CBFCA commercial manager Scott Carson said representatives met with the ACCC directors and analysts tasked with gathering data and identifying issues relating to the Annual Container Stevedore Monitoring Report.
In a statement, the CBFCA said it highlighted the following issues to the ACCC:
- Infrastructure surcharges and their escalating fee structure;
- QUBE’s introduction of international terminal fee charges at its facilities, chargeable down to house bill level;
- The introduction of empty container de-hire options to port stevedore terminals by shipping lines that involve standard export container booking type processes, thereby adding to domestic operator costs;
- The shrinking of effective import container free time on wharf when stevedores apply the start of that free time to ‘time of container discharge’, as against the standard ‘time of container availability’;
- Concerns on increased ‘business vertical integration’ with land-based multinational operators, where direct and indirect ownership links between several larger operators has evolved and created a situation where there are a smaller number of ‘ultimate owners’.
“On behalf of its members, the CBFCA will continue to highlight each of these issues, which in isolation and combined, provide a real threat to competition in the land/port precinct based component of Australia’s international trade,” Mr Carson said.
“With a number of these issues, the recognition and support of state governments is also required and the CBFCA will continue to highlight these issues in appropriate forums.”