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WHILE the chronic empty container congestion in Port Botany has eased slightly, there are still headwinds that are injecting more costs into the container logistics chain for landside logistics operators and their import/export clients, according to Container Transport Alliance Australia.

NSW Ports has released its Port Botany container trade statistics for February 2021. It shows that the steady build up of surplus empty containers in Sydney has been driven by the extraordinary levels of full imports, coupled with empty container evacuations by shipping lines not keeping pace with the import surge.

In the last six months, total imports have exceeded total exports by around 12,000 TEU, contributing to the surplus empty container stock in NSW.

In February, full imports were up by almost 30% on the same time last year (116,569 TEU), and up over 6% year to date (YTD).

Thankfully though, empty exports were up 51% on the same time last year (at 78,423 TEU), making up for a lacklustre full export performance, down 1.39% compared to Feb 2020, and down 11% year to date.

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DP World Australia Logistics has announced that it will implement a Peak Traffic Management Surcharge between 5am and 4pm, Monday to Friday at Parks 1 & 2, Port Botany. In return, DPWAL has indicated that it will increase slot capacity during peak hours, and implement technologies to accommodate paperless truck gate entry.

DPWAL is concerned to minimise truck queuing and to try to eradicate long truck queues at Parks 1 & 2 that are a safety and productivity concern.

CTAA, in collaboration with Freight & Trade Alliance, has consulted with DPWAL to understand further what steps are to be taken to improve truck entry and truck turnaround times, and what additional ECP capacity was to be introduced to off-set the application of the Peak Traffic Management Surcharge?

CTAA will be monitoring the rollout of the productivity improvements proposed, and will continue to engage with DPWAL seeking improved outcomes.

CTAA has encouraged the NSW Government and Transport for NSW to continue to facilitate participation in the NSW Empty Container Working Group for at least a further six months.

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