Tempers smoulder at DP World terminal over delays

Truckie said to have blocked entrance after service refused

By Rob McKay | February 16, 2011

Tensions over delays at stevedore DP World’s Port Botany terminal rose another notch early this morning, with a one-truckie protest adding to delays of more than three hours.

The incident occurred on a day when the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of Australia made plain to its members that a "two way" penalty regime could not come fast enough.

The NSW branch of the Australian Trucking Association told members this morning that there had been "an issue at the gate where a truck driver that was refused service would not move his truck.

"This apparently took another 40-odd minutes to resolve.

"The driver was then serviced but cautioned that he faced the risk on being banned from the terminal."

ATA NSW says that while it sympathises with the driver, his action had only served to exacerbate an already bad situation.

The industry body also took DP World management to task regarding its understanding of the Port Botany Landside Improvement Scheme, which the stevedore says is what it has been preparing for with changes this month.

"We don’t know where DP World are getting their advice on the PBLIS standards but refusing trucks service if they are legitimately in the rank on time is not allowed," it said.

"Most of what has been passed off as PBLIS regulation is pure fiction."

The industry body insists that the stevedores’ actions since mid-January have been obstructive.

"What should be clearly remembered is that the terminals brought in these harsh measures to disrupt PBLIS, not for any smooth transition," it says.

"We had offers on the table to talk to both of them which were ignored."

CBFCA Freight and Business Operations Manager Paul Zalai told his members that it was under "no illusion" that all will be fixed with the introduction of PBLIS.

"Various phases of the reforms will be implemented during the course of the year in line with revised processes, systems, compliance measures and business models," Zalai says.

"In reality, it may take a considerable time before all settles down and we reap the long term benefits."

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