AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Botany truckers free to bargain with terminals: ACCC

<p>The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is to allow a group of Port Botany truckers, customs brokers and freight forwarders to negotiate collectively with stevedores P&#38O and Patrick.</p> <p>The Container Logistics Action Group (CLAG) has been authorised to negotiate access terms to the terminals and prices for other services, such as container storage. </p> <p>However, neither the stevedores nor CLAG will be compelled to negotiate with each other.</p> <p>"The ACCC notes that the features of the industry have created a significant imbalance of negotiating power between the stevedores and the container carriers," the commission said in a statement.</p> <p>The ACCC is known to have started talks with discontented transport operators and customs brokers at the end of 2004, with concerns over the 1-Stop joint venture, as well as other issues. </p> <p>"The ACCC is satisfied that the proposed arrangements are likely to result in a net benefit to the public. In particular, the arrangements will give transport providers a greater opportunity to provide input to dealings with stevedores. The ACCC considers that increased input is likely to result in more efficient outcomes for the import&#47export supply chain," the commission said. </p> <p>The prospective vertical integration of Patrick’s stevedoring and container logistics operations with Toll’s domestic transport operations, may also have raised fresh concerns.</p> <p>The undertakings agreed by Toll with the ACCC still allow Toll "reasonable differences" in price over competitors based on volume and service &#8211 areas where Toll will be very strong. </p> <br />