VICTORIA International Container Terminal is the latest container stevedore to announce it would implement an infrastructure surcharge.
According to a statement to customers, a review of terminal charges and market conditions meant VICT had decided to implement a $48 infrastructure surcharge effective 27 March.
“Following a review of market conditions, we consider that it is appropriate to introduce an infrastructure surcharge,” the stevedore wrote.
“The infrastructure surcharge allows VICT to remain competitive in the market as a viable alternative container terminal.”
According to the customer notice, the infrastructure surcharge would be applied to all standard import and export full containers.
Road transport operators are to be invoiced electronically through existing weekly invoices.
“The $10 Chain of Responsibility charge per container will no longer be an additional charge, and will instead be absorbed into the Infrastructure Surcharge from 27th March 2018,” VICT wrote.
VICT said since starting operations in 2017, the business had committed to having landside efficiency at the forefront of its innovation.
“We are aware of customer feedback regarding the introduction of infrastructure surcharges more generally in the market,” the VICT statement read.
“Having listened to customer feedback on cash flow concerns around additional charges, we will extend our payment terms from seven to 30 days from invoice issue date and we are also looking to implement EFTPOS payment facilities soon.”
The VICT surcharge mirrors similar surcharges imposed by DPWA and Patrick.
Container Transport Alliance Australia director Neil Chambers said the situation with the stevedores had become “a cash grab” and “a free for all”.
Mr Chambers said VICT/ICTSI won the right to operate a Webb Dock terminal and it was incumbent upon them to show what had changed and what additional services they were providing.
He said it appeared the landside was again subsidising low rates for shipping and that it was frustrating VICT had no night shift.
“VICT have to do something to show that (the surcharge) is justifiable,” Mr Chambers said.
“We now have our third infrastructure minister in the space of a few months and I think Mr McCormack needs to take a look at what is going on here and whether in fact the market has failed.”