SHIPPING Australia said it welcomed most of the positions in the ACCC’s Container Stevedoring Monitoring Report 2021-22, which was released on 12 December.

The report recommended the repeal of Part X of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The part allows shipping lines to collaborate on certain matters, which would be normally considered cartel conduct.

Shipping Australia, in a statement, said Part X is “cumbersome and outdated” and urged the Australian authorities to set up a block class exemption from competition law for ocean shipping as is done in other major economies around the world.

Shipping Australia CEO Captain Melwyn Noronha said effective regulation and oversight of our ports is vital as they are so central to the wellbeing of Australians.

“Accordingly, benchmarking of ports, is, likewise, vital. Scrutiny and benchmarking of the maritime industries is nothing new – ocean shipping has been subject to scrutiny and benchmarking for decades,” Mr Noronha said.

“However, benchmarking only has value if there is something to benchmark against. Shipping Australia therefore urges policy makers to ensure that the performance of our ports is benchmarked against other comparable ports. The S&P/World Bank report is the only planet-spanning container performance report that exists. It is written by world-leading trade and transport economists of global standing. Shipping Australia therefore urges all parties to co-operate to ensure that this world-leading port performance report becomes the best-possible tool.”