TRANSPORT operators are reviewing their cost and container detention liabilities ahead of the brown marmorated stink bug season (officially starting 1 September).

Container Transport Alliance Australia director Neil Chambers said additional costs caused by delays could not be absorbed fully by transport operators.

“Nor can unrealistic container detention claims due to the level of delays in empty import container de-hire which are likely to occur again this peak season,” Mr Chambers said.

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With the expansion of the number of target risk countries for BMSB mandatory risk intervention, Mr Chambers said the Department of Agriculture had estimated a 12% to 15% rise in containerised cargoes subjected to BMSB seasonal measures.

“Worryingly too, the number of approved off-shore treatment providers is lower than those approved last year (at the time this Notice was prepared),” he said.

“This will likely add to the number of containers which will require on-shore fumigation treatment intervention in Australia.”

Mr Chambers said as container volumes grew during the peak, there was a strong likelihood delays in de-hiring empty import containers would increase due to:

  • Gate capacity constraints at some empty container depots and a mismatch of operating hours;
  • An increased lack of flexibility in de-hire locations imposed by shipping lines; and
  • De-hire location redirections ordered by shipping lines with little advanced notice.  

 “It is a conservative estimate that the additional costs borne by transport operators are between $90 to $200 per container depending on the level of delay, additional handling, and in some cases futile truck trips,” Mr Chambers said.

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