Monday, August 2, 2021
Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) joined industry colleagues in a meeting with The Hon Dan Tehan (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) on Friday 30 July 2021 and separately engaged with a senior ministerial advisor that same evening.
The primary focus of the FTA / APSA advocacy was to follow up on our meeting on 2 June 2021 (report available HERE) noting in recent weeks the further deterioration in shipping capacity and an associated rapid escalation in shipping costs.  

In formal correspondence sent to the Minister today, 2 August 2021, FTA and APSA again re-stated its call for the creation of a new federal regulator, along the lines of the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), to facilitate open and competitive international trade while safeguarding the interests of Australian shippers (exporters, importers and freight forwarders).
Furthermore, FTA and APSA recommend that the following policy considerations be included in the scope of a formal Federal Government-led review: 
  • repeal of Part X CCA forcing shipping lines to operate more closely to those competition laws faced by other businesses involved in Australian commerce;
  • a focus on exclusive dealings to ensure that shipping line end-to-end logistics services do not lessen competition;
  • mandate of minimum shipping services ensuring essential export access to market;
  • shipping line adherence to acceptable notification periods on service and cost variations;
  • the scope of the National Transport Commission (NTC) review of Terminal Access Charges be expanded to examine regulation to force stevedores and empty container parks to cost recover directly against their commercial client (shipping line) rather than via third party transport operators;
  • implement measures similar to the current US FMC review to ensure fair and reasonable container detention practices are administered by shipping lines for the dehire of empty containers; and
  • initiate a formal waterfront industrial relations review to provide immediate and continued business continuity for what is an 'essential service' and our international gateway for major supply chains.
Access to today's correspondence is available HERE (FTA / APSA MEMBLOGIN REQUIRED)
We look forward to the prospect of supporting the Federal Government on this approach to achieve essential immediate and sustainable reforms. 

Paul Zalai - Director FTA | Secretariat APSA | Director GSF