The Australian shipping lines association – Shipping Australia Limited – has published a nasty, vindictive series of statements from an unknown author in an article that sinks to new lows for a so called professional association.
After globally gouging the supply chain through Covid and beyond, the shipping lines aren’t satisfied with their astronomical profits and power.
They have directed their ire at the weakest part of the supply chain. The whipping boy: the trucking industry.
Shipping Australia Limited appear to have stopped just short of accusing the trucking industry of manslaughter in the article [click here to read].
The truth is that, like any reasonable person, the Productivity Commission has seen through the smoke and mirrors at Australia’s Ports and propose a hammer blow to the cartel arrangements for shipping lines who unfairly have exemptions from laws other Australian businesses don’t.
Shipping lines servicing our entire container trade are commercial, foreign-owned businesses that are profit-driven, but what’s extremely evident is Australia’s national interest is very much a secondary consideration.
- Terminal access fee’s at ports are not justified and don’t deliver a scintilla of extra productivity.
- Trucking in Australia kept the Australian community fed and alive through Covid.
- Without trucks, Australia stops.
- The freight industry is safety conscious and spends billions improving safety.
- Trucking isn’t subsidised. Just ask the small family businesses that make up 70 per cent of the industry.
- There is no widespread, available and viable alternative option to diesel trucks in 2022.
- The Productivity Commission has identified and exposed numerous inequities that Shipping Australia Limited don’t like.
- Shipping lines have exploited the stevedores ‘competition’ for portside business.
- Australian trucking employs Australian workers; Shipping Lines employ the cheap labour across the world to work on their foreign owned and foreign flagged container vessels of convenience.
- Now that the spotlight has been shone across the whole supply chain the shippers are worried. Many of the same arguments they are proposing will happen to them are already happening to the trucking industry.
- The days of port charges being simply to recover stevedores landside operating costs for trucks are long gone.
- Road Freight NSW actively works with our partner bp on green initiatives like bp pulse for electric charging which went live six days ago in Australia.
- And if the shipping lines are concerned about the damage our “polluting” trucks are causing to everyone, then maybe they could sort out their role in the MT container situation and the excessive detention fees they charge.
- Any chance for a truck carrier to expand their access to the VBS system is limited by a complicated matrix of slot utilisation which may be interpreted as a restriction of trade if a carrier wanted to grow their operations.
And, how do the shipping lines propose that cargo owners get their cargo to and from their members ships going forward?
In attacking our industry the shipping lines offer no realistic solutions or acknowledge the significant improvements our industry and our partners have made to improve our environmental and safety credentials.
Unfortunately, and as a result, the shipping lines have lost the plot.
RFNSW invites the keyboard warrior and Shipping Australia Limited to our conference on March 2, 2023, in Sydney to put their case to the NSW freight industry in person.
- Simon O’Hara is the CEO of Road Freight NSW.