Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) questions whether industry as a whole understands the scope and reach of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) inquiry into the wharf cartage sector.

The inquiry commenced on 15th February and is being conducted by Tribunal member Senior Deputy President Drake, with industry members Steve Hutchins and Tim Squires. Submissions are due no later than 27th of March.

CTAA Director Gerard Langes said, “There is obvious continuous improvement necessary in the whole container transport logistics chain. The difficulties generally arise due to the disconnect between the contractual arrangements within the chain and operational relationships required to ensure efficiency”

Langes noted that should the inquiry recommend it, the RSRT has the power to issue federal orders which could see stevedores and container transport operators locked into a federal scheme similar to Sydney’s – Port Botany Landside Improvement Scheme (PBLIS), which regulates the landside interface.

Langes questioned whether the industry across Australia had digested the ramifications of a potential order of this kind. “This has the potential to go a lot further than driver pay. An order from the RSRT could significantly and permanently change the nature of container transport”.

Langes said, “For my mind, rather than using an institution established to investigate links between driver remuneration and safety, the first step in improving the wharf/container transport interface is to have a more equitable Service Level Agreement between the stevedores and container transport operators to replace the existing Access Agreements.”

In all capital city ports, except in the regulated Port Botany environment, the Carrier Access Agreements are written by and favour the stevedores. Road transport carriers have little recourse if trucks are delayed unduly due to poor truck turnaround time performance caused by stevedores, but are still responsible for no-show or late arrival fees.

According to Langes, an ex-global DP World executive, “Transport operators deserve independent, dedicated and committed support to negotiate a new Service Level Agreement, particularly in terminals with major interface issues such as DP World Melbourne”. “CTAA has already started to facilitate meetings between major container transport operators, beginning the process of negotiating a better deal with stevedores when the Agreements comes up for renewal in July this year”.

CTAA is calling for all parties in the landside container logistics chain to provide their views on the RSRT inquiry, which will be consolidated into a CTAA submission to the RSRT before the inquiry’s closing date of 27th March 2015.

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About CTAA

Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) offers a new approach to confronting increasinglytighter and complex business conditions in the landside container transport chain. By connecting like-minded businesses in a strong alliance, CTAA is the voice and leading advocate dealing with the strategic and operational challenges facing every business in the sector.

For further information relating to this media release or to obtain photographs please contact CTAA Directors, Gerard Langes 0439 888 905 or Neil Chambers 0413 662 263 or email