THE summer road construction blitz for the West Gate Tunnel Project in Melbourne requires patience and empathy in the logistics chain, the Container Transport Alliance Australia says.

From 13 January) through to the end of February, ramp closures and road works affecting the West Gate Freeway and the Western Ring Road are set to cause significant delays for container road transport operators servicing Melbourne’ key western freight suburbs.

“Delays of over 30 minutes travel time between important freight districts in the West and the Port of Melbourne are already being experienced by CTAA alliance companies, with vital freeway ramps now closed such as those at Millers Road, Geelong Road and the M80 Ring Road leading to major truck detours, in addition to the traffic congestion on the M1 itself,” said CTAA director Neil Chambers.

“These are important road works that are necessary to complete the West Gate Tunnel Project as the government has promised. But, the short term pain being inflicted on transport efficiencies shouldn’t be underestimated.”

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Mr Chambers said patience was required from all parties as trucks were likely to be delayed, leading to late arrivals into key freight nodes such as stevedore terminals, empty container parks, distribution centres and customer premises.

“CTAA is contacting key parties to ask them to consider these extraordinary circumstances when assessing the impost of penalties applied to transport operators like wrong zone or no show fees at container stevedore terminals,” Mr Chambers said.

“Dialogue between the parties will be extra important at the moment.  We hope that the stevedores and empty parks show an appropriate level of empathy for the plight of transport operators during this period of significant disruption.”

“We hope that genuine pleas for penalties to be waived are at least considered respectfully, and that all parties work together.” Mr Chambers said transport operators were talking to their customers about the delays that may be experienced affecting container deliveries and pick-ups.

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