Stevedore Patrick will reap an extra $30 million a year from hefty new surcharges on containers that truckies warn are likely to be passed on to consumers, Credit Suisse analysts say.
On Friday, Parick claimed it was forced to introduce or raise surcharges, including a $24.45-a-box slug in Sydney, and a $32-a-container fee at Melbourne’s East Swanston Dock, because of soaring rents imposed by newly privatised ports.
Simon O’Hara – General Manager, Road Freight NSW
“We don’t believe these cost pressures are real; we believe they’re inflated and exaggerated,” he said. “There is a significant increase there from zero to $25.45.”
However, he welcomed moves from Patrick to discuss the price hike with the industry.
“It’s really incumbent on Patrick to have a rational explanation that’s based on facts,” he said.
He called on Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell and Australian Competition & Consumer Commission head Rod Sims to investigate the increases.
“I don’t think these cost increases have finished yet, given there are only three Stevedores and two of them have now imposed a surcharge, there’s not much opportunity for our members to shop around.”
He said it was likely consumers would eventually bear the costs.