Wednesday, March 13, 2019

On 5 December 2018, the Federal Senate brought forward an Inquiry into the policy, regulatory, taxation, administrative and funding priorities for Australian shipping. 


With more than 90% of Australia's trade by volume carried via sea freight, this is a critical issue for Australian importers, exporters and logistics service providers.

Last week, Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) provided a formal submission to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee on behalf of industry. We have since been called to present at the Senate Committee Hearing later today. 

Based on member feedback, FTA / APSA's submission focused on:
  • detention and demurrage practices;
  • minimum levels of service;
  • empty container management;
  • shipping line surcharges;
  • dispute mechanisms ; and
  • infrastructure charges / Terminal Handling Charges (THC)
Click here to view the FTA / APSA submission

Summary of recommendations:

Recommendation 1: Strengthen service protections 
That Australia strengthens minimum levels of service and minimum notification period requirements for all international shipping line services in Australia.
This should include a non-negotiable minimum notification period for the introduction of new rates and charges, or changes to existing rates and charges. This is equivalent to the protections that already exist in the U.S. for their shippers.

Recommendation 2: Terminal Handling Charges / infrastructure charges 
That the Government takes urgent action to address unregulated and spiralling infrastructure charges. 
While shipping lines have been the beneficiaries of increased competition in stevedoring, Australian shippers have not seen any of those benefits and now are paying twice for container terminal services. It is an unsustainable situation, it is damaging to our economy, and it will only worsen if there is no intervention.

Recommendation 3:  Stronger oversight of the sea freight supply chain 
State and Federal Governments need to take a more proactive role to develop standard industry practices in relation to detention and demurrage, empty container management and other sea freight supply chain activities.
Travis Brooks-Garrett - FTA / APSA