Patrick defer Port Botany side loader fee

Port Melbourne-based Patrick Stevedores Operations has issued a notice to carriers advising that they will defer implementation of a proposed $100 side loader fee that was scheduled to take effect from October 25 at the Port Botany terminal.

In the notice, Patrick Port Botany Terminal Manager, Ben Wicks, said that the company had been made aware of concerns of, “the possible impact of the levy on smaller businesses that only operate side loaders.”

Paul Zalai of Freight and Trade Alliance (FTA) highlighted concerns that the proposed fee would most likely force a greater use of “staging” solutions with transport operators using conventional trailers and rigids for container receipt and completing secondary deliveries with side loaders.

Zalai noted that due to limited slot availability, many transport operators are already being forced to take deliveries at off-peak periods and complete next day deliveries. He also said that the proposed fee would have had a lesser impact for transport operators with sufficient resources to stage containers noting that in many cases their operations would be, “business as usual.”

Zalai indicated that the FTA submission to Patrick focussed on the amount of the fee and the short time frame of the originally proposed implementation.

“We highlighted the potential impact on the ongoing commercial viability of smaller transport operators and the downstream implications for the import sector,” he said.

Zalai welcomed the decision by Patrick to defer implementation and the opportunity to further engage with all affected supply chain entities.

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