Container Transport Alliance Australia says Automated Stacking Crane (ASC) failures and maintenance issues at DP World’s Brisbane Terminal have caused significant landside transport delays and added costs.
DP World has an ASC Module out of action for annual routine maintenance. Two further Modules failed in the week of April 30, leading to a significant lack of capacity and congestion, while a separate IT issue led to the need for manual processing of trucks until a server could be brought back online.
“All facilities can experience equipment and technical failures…it can happen to all of us,” says CTAA Director, Neil Chambers.
“However, it’s important for the Terminal to work closely with road transport operators to compensate to the greatest degree possible by providing offsets through extended import delivery free time and export receival windows, and waivers of wrong zone and no-show fees for trucks that have experienced extensive delays in previous entries into the Terminal due to the congestion.”
These issues come at a time when DP world’s TEU volumes are higher, with the terminal having recently won an additional shipping line contract away from a rival stevedore company in Brisbane.
“The Terminal should also be trying to provide as much vehicle booking system slot capacity as it can to compensate as the failed Modules come back online this weekend and all of next week,” adds Neil.
It is regrettable that DP World hasn’t given blanket extensions to import free time, instead only considering extensions on a case-by-case basis.
“The consequence of the failures and delays last week is that transport operators have had to work longer hours this weekend (Saturday shift and a Sunday shift) to try to ensure that import containers are collected before the ‘last free day’ to avoid import storage fees being levied. However, truck servicing times have continued to be poor.”
To an extent, DP World has been able to utilise the “old yard” adjacent to the ASC Modules for container stacking and receival and delivery. Despite this ad hoc capability, truck turnaround times have been at least 30 per cent longer than normal, with some reports of truck delays of up to four hours.
Source: MHD Supply Chain
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