STEVEDORE DP World Australia says increasing costs and declining tariffs have led to a decision to increase the Infrastructure Access Charge for road and rail operators at its three east coast terminals.

From 1 January, 2019, the Infrastructure charges are to be:

  • At Fisherman Island (Brisbane), the Infrastructure Access Charge is to be increased to $65.15 per container on all laden inbound and outbound containers handled;

  • At Port Botany (Sydney), the Charge is to be increased to $63.80 per container on all laden inbound and outbound containers;

  • At West Swanson (Melbourne) terminal, the Charge is to be increased to $85.30 per container.

According to a DPWA statement, Australia’s stevedores “continue to face a dynamic and evolving market with unprecedented change, major investment in infrastructure, increasing costs and declining tariffs”.

“To ensure a sustainable future in an increasingly competitive market, DP World Australia is continuing the journey to a rebalanced revenue recovery from waterside to landside,” the DPWA statement read.

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The administration fee for the electronic Vehicle Booking System also is to be increased to $12.95 per slot at all four terminals effective from 1 January 2019.

“We understand that increases in charges and fees will attract some criticism, and we do appreciate that this will be positioned as an effective doubling of the Infrastructure Access Charge,” a DPWA spokesman said.

“However, a financially healthy stevedoring industry is vital for the long term economic well-being of Australia. Providing transport operators with extended notice, of more than 90 days, of these changes will help with their planning.”

The spokesman said such charges should “not impact transport operators as they can be passed through the supply chain, without a negative impact”.

“The increase in the Infrastructure Access Charge applied at West Swanson would, for example, add just one-tenth of a cent to the delivered cost of an iPhone. It would add just a quarter of a Cent to the delivered cost of school shoes, ten cents to the delivered cost of a microwave oven and fifteen cents to the delivered cost of a flat screen TV.”

DPWA said it had seen growth of more than 8% during the past 12 months, four times CPI, which had been good for landside stakeholders and increased supply chain employment.

DPWA maintains concerns about the impact of previous increases have been unfounded, noting a recent report by international economists, farrierswier, which found, based on ACCC data, there was no evidence stevedores had been engaging in excessive pricing, in relation to historic access charge increases.

“Objectively, infrastructure access and usage charges are vital for ensuring an equitable pricing structure for all users, for ongoing investment, and for the sustainable future of DP World Australia,” the spokesperson said.

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