DP World announces fee hikes at Sydney, Melbourne ports

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DP World Australia (DPWA) is increasing its port access fees at its Sydney and Melbourne facilities, Lloyd’s List Australia (LLA) reports.

In Sydney, transport operators will be charged $21.16 for each full container received or delivered via road or rail, previously there was no fee.

The charge to use DP World’s Melbourne terminal will increase from $3.45 to $32.50 per container.

The new fees are set to take effect on 3 April, though LLA notes that industry bodies such as the Freight and Trade Alliance and the Australian Peak Shippers are challenging the change.

Brian Gillespie, Chief Commercial Officer at DPWA, has released a statement attributing the new fees to increased property rates in Sydney and competition. Through changing the way the Sydney Terminal operated, DPWA had avoided passing on the costs until now, he explained.

“Since 2013, DPWA has incurred material increases in the costs of occupancy of more than 30 per cent, including the cost of council rates, land tax, rent and terminal infrastructure maintenance,” he said.

The cost of the company’s presence in Melbourne has also reportedly risen by more than 60 per cent since 2016.

“Despite DPWA’s continue efforts to offset higher fixed costs through efficiency improvements, these material step changes in costs cannot be offset,” Gillespie added.

“It is important to note that a substantial part of our Melbourne terminal, including our dedicated truck marshalling area, is devoted to servicing road transport, and that the cost of providing this specialist infrastructure has, like Melbourne terminal as a whole, been subject to the cost increases.”

Peter Anderson, CEO of the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) noted that the Infrastructure Surcharge will put further pressure on the country’s transport companies.

“Coming off the back of the up to 125% increase to tolls announced by CityLink operator Transurban, this increase will put additional pressure on operators to remain competitive,” he said.

“Operators will have no choice but to pass on the increase to their customers.”