NSW Ports announce long-term increase to wharfage to recover rail investment

Thursday, November 29, 2018

This morning Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) have received formal advice that NSW Ports will be introducing an increase of $3.08 in wharfage fees from 1 July 2019 to recover investment on on-dock rail infrastructure. This will apply to full containers only, even though empty containers constitute a high volume of boxes railed into the port.

Please see below the full notice from NSW Ports.
Dear all,
I am pleased to advise that today NSW Ports is announcing its investment in 'on-dock' rail infrastructure capacity at each of the three container terminals at Port Botany, commencing in 2019.  Investment will be staged, with stevedores being required to invest in rail operating equipment to meet target terminal capacities.
The growth of containers on rail is a key objective in NSW Ports' long term Masterplan, to cater for the growing trade needs of NSW.  NSW Ports plans to improve rail capacity at each of the three stevedores operating at Port Botany, ultimately increasing Port rail capacity to 3 million TEU.  This investment will build greater rail capability at the port, supporting the Government's investment in completing the Port Botany rail duplication and ongoing investments in large scale intermodal rail logistics centres at Enfield and Moorebank. 
Over the next four years, NSW Ports will invest $120 million on Stage 1 of this uplift to create new on-dock rail capacity at Patrick's Port Botany Terminal. The new rail terminal will ultimately deliver 1 million TEU capacity. In time NSW Ports will invest at the other two container terminals.
Importantly there are many benefits for businesses and communities across NSW. Increasing rail capacity at the Port means a faster, cheaper, more sustainable way for exporters and importers to get their product to market.
The investment will reduce the growth in truck movements around the port.  When fully operational this investment will reduce truck kilometres travelled in Sydney by at least 10 million per year. This will save over 2 million litres of diesel per year which is the equivalent to a net reduction in COemissions of more than 5,400 tonnes a year.
To fund the investment, NSW Ports will implement a modest increase of $3.08 in wharfage fees on full imports and exports from 1 July 2019. This has been spread over the long term to minimise the wharfage increase and will be removed once the cost of the investment has been recovered.
Work will begin next year and is planned for completion by 2023. Rail operations at Patrick are expected to continue during the construction period.  
More information about the project can be found in the attached media release and factsheet. 
To view the media release, please click HERE
To view the fact sheet, please click HERE

FTA & APSA will be engaging with NSW Ports and Transport for NSW to learn more about this charge. Further commentary will follow.


Travis Brooks-Garrett - FTA / APSA