ANALYSIS by the International Forwarders & Customs Brokers Association of Australia has found unregulated access charges levied by stevedores and empty container parks are adding substantial costs to trade.

IFCBAA scrutinised full container movements through Sydney/Port Botany and found, by way of example, where the total of these charges is expressed as a percentage of the shipping cost (inclusive of seafreight charge, BAF and THC) that domestic operators are paying $198 extra for a full container from Shanghai to Sydney (or 10% of the shipping cost) and $198 for an export FCL from Sydney to Auckland (or 34% of the shipping cost).

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Commercial manager Scott Carson said the IFCBAA has now elevated its objections to the “uncontrolled stevedore and ECP charges” and provided a detailed historical costing analysis on all relevant Port Botany charges to the NSW Minister for Transport and Roads, the Executive Director of Transport for NSW, the CEO of NSW Ports, the NSW Attorney General, the NSW Small Business Commissioner and the NSW Productivity Commissioner.

Mr Carson highlighted that one stevedore had increased its Infrastructure Levy Surcharge/Terminal Access Fee by 533% since it was first introduced in 2017, prior to which there was no such charge.

“The stevedores’ customers are the shipping lines, not domestic operators and IFCBAA members believe that should these unwarranted charges continue, they need to be charged by the stevedores onto the shipping lines,” Mr Carson said.

“IFCBAA will continue to take a measured and strategic approach to these issues and will await the response from the NSW Government in the short term, before deciding on the next steps in this process.”

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