PATRICK Terminals has announced another round of landside charge hikes (previously infrastructure surcharges) and terminal ancillary charges following a review.

According to Patrick, the charge recovers some of the full costs of providing landside operations and is essential in continuing to provide customers with “superior and efficient” landside service. 

From 9 March, the following charges are to apply:

Accordingly, effective from 9 March 2020, the following Landside charges will apply on full containers that enter and leave Patrick’s terminals:

Import Containers:

  • Sydney $114.50 per full container
  • • Fisherman Islands (Brisbane) $110.00 per full container
  • East Swanson (Melbourne) $125.80 per full container
  • Fremantle $50.00 per full container

Export Containers

  • Sydney $82.50 per full container
  • Fisherman Islands $82.50 per full container
  • East Swanson Dock $82.50 per full container
  • Fremantle $25.00 per full container

The landside charge is said to recovers a portion of the costs relating to capital investments and infrastructure.

“Patrick continues to make significant capital investment and commitments for the benefit of its customers,” the company said in a statement.

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According to the company, as part of the landside charge review and in response to government and key stakeholder feedback, it was decided to differentiate the fees charged between import and export containers.

“This approach recognises the significant challenges currently being faced by our exporters from drought and bushfires,” the company stated.

“The landside charge will be applied to both road and rail transport operators for all full container movements, both import and export, made at the terminals. Road operators will be invoiced electronically via 1-Stop while rail operators will have the charge separately itemised on their rail invoice.

“We regret this change to our cost structure but without sacrificing infrastructure investment and further performance improvements, we have been left with no alternative in the current economic challenging environment,” the company said in a statement.”

Prior to Christmas, managing director of Qube (a part-owner of Patrick), said higher terminal charges were a logical by-product of the three stevedore model, with port companies having to recoup lost earnings elsewhere.

Freight Trade Alliance director Paul Zalai said it was “a clever move” from Patrick to introduce a differentiated fee between exporters and importers.

“This has obviously been implemented to take some heat away from our advocacy highlighting the impacts on high volume, low value exporters,” he said.

“Now that the Deloitte report has been released, the Victorian government can form their policy response. We also have the NSW Productivity Commissioner keeping a close eye on proceedings.

“We need to wind back stevedore-imposed infrastructure surcharges or experience a commensurate reduction in shipping line terminal handling charges.”

Mr Zalai said importers and exporters couldn’t “continue to get smashed with this double-whammy”.

“Something has to give and our regulators need to act,” he said.

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