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Patrick throwing everything at Port Botany congestion

<p>Patrick’s Port Botany terminal manager David Phillips said the stevedore was &#8220throwing everything&#8221 it could at relieving congestion caused by an unprecedented build up of import containers this week.</p> <p>Patrick is training 60 new staff to drive straddles at the terminal, many having been transferred from Darling Harbour, which is due to close soon.</p> <p>Mr Phillips said this morning (Friday, August 31) that volumes at the Port Botany terminal had not decreased since the Christmas peak.</p> <p>&#8220There is an unforseen increase in volume that has not dropped off since September last year,&#8221 Mr Phillips said.</p> <p>&#8220This week and its problems are a direct result of a very busy shipping schedule, but primarily the build up of imports through lack of deliveries over the weekend.&#8221</p> <p>Mr Phillips said there had been very few take-ups of weekend slots, causing high stack densities at the terminal which was slowing the time it took to retrieve the boxes for each truck pick-up.</p> <p>&#8220We’re throwing everything at it, we really are,&#8221 Mr Phillips said.</p> <p>&#8220To handle that sort of volume, without stopping, you cannot predict that kind of increase.</p> <p>&#8220We’re seeing a peak in operation that’s extreme.&#8221</p> <p>Patrick is this week waiving fees normally charged to road transporters who do not arrive within the specified time.</p> <p>Mr Phillips said Patrick had also temporarily extended the amount of time import containers would remain at the terminal before importers were charged storage fees.</p> <p>Patrick is adding two new straddles next week and another three in the first few weeks of September.</p> <p>The stevedore has closed its shipping operations three times so far this week in order to divert resources toward clearing containers from the docks.</p> <p>Patrick and the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia are encouraging the use of extra slots this weekend and particularly over the APEC long weekend starting September 7.</p> <p>Mr Phillips said Patrick was not counting the Friday public holiday in Sydney as a free day. </p> <br />