NSW moves on port delays

NSW Government launches first of three trials aimed at slashing truck congestion and boosting efficiency at Port Botany

NSW moves on port delays
NSW moves on port delays
The NSW Government today launched the first of three trials aimed at slashing truck congestion and boosting landside efficiency at Port Botany.

Minister for Ports and Waterways Joe Tripodi announced the reform measures in line with IPART’s review of port operations.

Sydney Ports Corporation will take charge of the first trial, which will measure the existing performance of every truck on a continuous basis for two weeks until March 2.

"The objective is to provide greater transparency of the landside port performance, with the aim of reducing delays around Port Botany’s cargo terminals and reducing the total cost of road transport," Tripodi says.

The results of the first trial will be used to benchmark current performance across the supply chain, including container terminals, transport operators, customs and empty container goods.

The Government says it is the first time truck queuing outside container terminals has been measured on a 24/7 basis and assessed as part of truck turnaround times.

The trial will be made up of six areas, ranging from looking at the number of containers processed each hour to the time taken to service each truck from queue to the terminal gate.

The Sydney Ports Corporation will also determine whether electronic technology will reduce the time taken to process containers and trucks, while also working to improve communication at the port.

Data collected will be used to prepare the second trial, which Tripodi says will begin in April.

The second trial will include stevedores and trucking operators, and will look at imposing penalties for those who fail to meet performance standards developed from the first trial.

The final stage of the reform process is expected to begin in June, whereby the Sydney Ports Corporation will look at the impact of introducing higher charges for those using the port during peak hours.

Tripodi is hopeful the final trial will deliver benefits to trucking operators, who have been plagued by excessive queues and congestion in and around the port precinct.

"Congestion and inefficiencies will be reduced when there are incentives to access the port round-the-clock, so the trial will look at a peak period pricing mechanism along with resourcing, process and technology issues," Tripodi says.

The Government’s announcement follows claims some truck drivers were waiting up to five hours to pick up containers at Port Botany.

Patrick was blamed for the delay, with Tripodi calling its actions "completely unacceptable".

A spokesperson for Patrick claimed an "unexpected surge in volumes" caused congestion, but addded the problem was a short-term issue and would be resolved.

The port reforms are built around giving the industry the chance to increase port efficiency before the Government decides on whether to introduce financial penalties.

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