Enough is enough: More delays at Port Botany

<font color=red><b>PORT DELAYS</b></font> Botany carriers demand action after computers meltdown and queues grow longer

January 25, 2010

Enough is enough, Port Botany carriers say, with delays blowing out to four or five hours due to computer outages.

The industry lobby is calling on the State Government to step in and fix what it calls ongoing problems experienced by trucking operators at stevedore DP World's terminal at Port Botany.

Operators experienced delays of up to five hours at the terminal on Thursday night due to technical issues.

"Just after 6pm on Thursday night DP World advised it was cancelling the 7pm and 8pm time slots without any consultation with operators," says Mike Moylan, a port carrier and chairman of the Container Group at the Australian Trucking Association's (ATA) New South Wales branch.

"This left those who had engaged drivers for the night to continue to pay for their services until operations resumed after 9pm."

Moylan says it is the latest in a "string of problems", with 28 significant delays for trucking operators since December 1 last year.

"In fact, 53 percent of working days since last December have seen incidents that caused delays from one to eight hours. Almost 50 percent of these delays have been due to computer related issues," he says.

Moylan says State Ports and Waterways Minister Paul McLeay must act. He says stevedores have ignored earlier calls by the Government to improve the situation.

"In this time when business continuity is critical, it is not acceptable that the terminal does not have backup systems in place to continue operation when problems occur," he says.

"This appears to be a product of the stevedores having a captive market that they can service as, and when, they see fit.

"The transport industry should not be held accountable to pay for the inefficient practices and service failures of others at Port Botany.

"The NSW trucking industry has always been willing to work with the State Government, Sydney Ports Corporation and stevedores to improve efficiency at the port, but it seems that despite all the discussions, there is still a lot that has to be done."

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