CONTAINER Transport Alliance Australia has welcomed an increase in the liability cap offered by DP World Australia for loss or damage to wharf carriers’ trucks or trailing equipment in its terminals.

The liability cap clauses are contained in DP World’s 2020 National Carrier Access Agreement, which DP World requires container road transport operators to sign before 1 July this year. 

From 1 July 2020, the liability cap relating to the loss or damage a truck, trailer, car, or internal transfer vehicle is to be raised to $100,000 per event.

The current cap is $15,000.

“CTAA congratulates DP World on making this change to its terminal access conditions,” said CTAA director Neil Chambers.

“The current Liability Cap of $15,000 has been of huge concern to transport operators and their insurance providers for a number of years.

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“This is because damage to a prime mover or trailer caused by terminal loading equipment can easily surpass that level of damage.”

Mr Chambers said a $100,000 liability cap was a much fairer outcome, aligning DP World with the liability regime of other Australian container stevedores.

While describing this outcome as a “win”, Mr Chambers said industry had concerns about associated with DP World’s 2020 National Carrier Access Agreement.

One important issue was the commitment of the stevedore to provide suitable alternative container slots if DP World cancelled a truck arrival time zone or zones due to unforeseen circumstances.

“We appreciate that unforeseen circumstances can arise in anyone’s operations, sometimes at short notice,” Mr Chambers said.

“However, it is the commitment of the parties to recover from those operational disruptions which is important.”

Mr Chambers said they had suggested to DP World that they strengthen provisions of their CAA for all of their terminals other than in Port Botany where the NSW PBLIS Mandatory Standards dictated clear obligations on stevedores to provide comparable alternative time slots.

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