Voluntary Pricing Protocol

The Voluntary Pricing Protocol establishes clear protocols for notification periods for price increases or the introduction of any new landside charges, explanation of price increases, and the timing of price changes.

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The Voluntary Pricing Protocol has been developed in close consultation with port stevedores, transport bodies, the Port of Melbourne and Australia’s peak shipping body.

Port of Melbourne’s three stevedores, DP World, Patrick Terminals and VICT have all publicly expressed their commitment to following the Voluntary Pricing Protocol to increase notification for changes to stevedore terminal handing charges. 

These guidelines apply to any proposed increases from 1 July 2020.

To receive emails on stevedore notifications under the Voluntary Pricing Protocol and other updates relating to the Voluntary Port Performance Model, please register by emailing [email protected].

March 2022 update

The Victorian Voluntary Pricing Protocol is consistent with the National Transport Commission’s (NTC) national voluntary guidelines for landside stevedore charges, which were released on 31 March 2022. 

Given the consistency between the two voluntary schemes, DoT will continue to apply its Voluntary Pricing Protocol, noting that it provides additional detail on the timeframes and format of stakeholder engagement on stevedores’ proposed changes to landside terminal access charges. 

DoT will undertake targeted stakeholder engagement on adopting the NTC’s guidelines noting that while the intent is the same, there are minor differences as outlined above. 

January 2022 update

Following a review, the Voluntary Pricing Protocol now uses more simple language, excludes previous footnotes and provides greater clarity of process, action owners and timeframes.

These changes are consistent with current practice for the protocol, which includes process refinements from both the Department of Transport and stevedores as it has been developed.

All three stevedores are supportive of these changes.

Voluntary Pricing Protocol

The Department of Transport (DoT) preference is that pricing changes occur no more than once per annum. For any price changes from 1 July 2020, it is expected that the Voluntary Pricing Protocol will be followed.

The Voluntary Pricing Protocol specifies four stages of consultation on pricing changes:
  1. Stevedores must notify the Executive Director, Freight Victoria in DoT of the proposed pricing change 60 calendar days prior to the proposed implementation date. The stevedore’s 60-day notice to DoT must be accompanied by:
    • Detailed reasons for the increase or introduction of pricing change, including all relevant supporting information or data and
    • A link to the public notice on the stevedore’s website which includes:
      • publicly available rationale for the price change
      • the due date for industry feedback; and
      • stevedore contact information. 
  2. When DoT receives a 60-day notice from a stevedore, DoT will email its VPPM industry stakeholder list within one day to advise of the proposed pricing change. This email will include the link to the stevedore’s 60-day notice, the proposed date of change, closing date for industry feedback and the due date of the 30-day final notice. 
  3. Both government and industry have 21 calendar days from the 60-day notice period to provide formal, written feedback direct to the stevedore on the proposed pricing change.
  4. Stevedores must issue a final notice of the pricing change to the Executive Director, Freight Victoria, which provides a link to the final notice on its website 30 calendar days prior to the proposed implementation date of the pricing change. When DoT receives the final, 30-day notice from a stevedore, DoT will email its VPPM industry stakeholder list within one calendar day to advise of the proposed pricing change. The stevedore’s final 30-day notice on its website must include:
    • A summary of engagement themes received in writing from industry and government and
    • Any response from the stevedore. 

Definitions under the Voluntary Pricing Protocol: 

  • Stevedore terminal handling charges refers to all charges payable to stevedores in connection with the operation or provision of land-based facilities and services at stevedore terminals. 
  • Pricing change refers to both changes to existing charges and the introduction of new charges. 
  • All periods when specified in days refer to calendar days. 

Stevedore notifications

DP World

Stevedore DP World
Effective date 1 January 2022
Rate type Annual change to carrier access tariffs and introduction of a side loader fee
60 days’ notice issue date to DoT (due date)  1 October 2021 (due 2 November 2021)  
60 days' industry notice (including rationale for price changes)  1 October 2021 (due 2 November 2021)  
Industry feedback themes 

Refer to DP World’s final industry notice, link below.

30 days’ industry notice issue date (due date)  29 October 2021 (due 2 December 2021)
Final industry notice  DP World's final industry notice.

Stevedore DP World
Effective date 1 May 2021
Rate type Terminal access charge
60 days’ notice issue date to DoT (due date)  3 March 2021 (due 2 March 2021) 
60 days' industry notice (including rationale for price changes)  15 March 2021 (due 2 March 2021) 
Industry feedback themes  TBC 
30 days’ industry notice issue date (due date)  27 March 2021 (due 1 April 2021) 
Final industry notice  DP World industry notice 

Stevedore DP World
Effective date 1 January 2021
Rate type Carrier access public tariff schedule 
60 days’ notice issue date to DoT (due date)  2 November 2020 (due 2 November 2020) 
60 days' industry notice (including rationale for price changes)  N/A – commitment provided to transition to 60-day notice period 
Industry feedback themes  TBC 
30 days’ industry notice issue date (due date)  20 November 2020 (due 2 December 2020) 
Final industry notice  DP World industry notice 

Patrick Terminals

Stevedore Patrick Terminals
Effective date 7 March 2022
Rate type Changes to landside and ancillary charges
60 days’ notice issue date to DoT (due date) 5 January 2022
60 days' industry notice (including rationale for price changes) 6 January 2022
Industry feedback themes Refer to final notice
30 days’ industry notice issue date (due date) 4 February 2022 (due 4 February)
Final industry notice Final notice

Stevedore Patrick Terminals
Effective date 1 March 2021
Rate type Landside charge at East Swanson Dock – VBS fees and import storage charges 
60 days’ notice issue date to DoT (due date)  10 December 2020 (due 31 December 2020) 
60 days' industry notice (including rationale for price changes)  N/A – commitment provided to transition to 60-day notice period 
Industry feedback themes  TBC 
30 days’ industry notice issue date (due date)  29 January 2021 (due 30 January 2021) 
Final industry notice  Patrick Terminals industry notice 

Stevedore Patrick Terminals
Effective date 4 October 2021
Rate type Weight amendment fee
60 days’ notice issue date to DoT (due date) 3 August 2021 (due 4 August 2021) 
60 days' industry notice (including rationale for price changes) 3 August 2021 (due 4 August 2021) 
Patrick Terminals previously advised of its intent to introduce the weight amendment fee on 5 November 2020, with the date of introduction to the Port of Melbourne to be confirmed at the time of the notice release. 
30 days’ industry notice issue date (due date) 3 September 2021 (due 4 September 2021)
Final industry notice (including industry feedback themes) Patrick Terminal’s final industry notice


Stevedore Patrick Terminals
Effective date 2 November 2020
Rate type Activation of empty stack run fee
60 days’ notice issue date to DoT (due date) 9 September 2020 (due 2 September 2020)
60 days' industry notice (including rationale for price changes) N/A – commitment provided to transition to 60-day notice period
Industry feedback themes TBC
30 days’ industry notice issue date (due date) TBC
Final industry notice TBC

VICT

Stevedore VICT
Effective date 1 July 2022
Rate type

Infrastructure charge

60 days’ notice issue date to DoT 3 May
60 days' industry notice (including rationale for price changes) 3 May
Industry feedback themes

Refer to VICT’s final industry notice, link below.

30 days’ industry notice issue date (due date) 1 June 2022 (due 1 June 2022)
Final industry notice VICT's Final Notice

Stevedore VICT
Effective date 1 February 2022
Rate type

Introduction of a temporary COVID-19 recovery tariff

60 days’ notice issue date to DoT (due date) Not provided, notice of implementation received 17 January
60 days' industry notice (including rationale for price changes) Not provided, notice of implementation received 17 January
Industry feedback themes

A consultation period has not been included as a part of this notice

For further information on the introduction of the temporary COVID-19 tariff, email [email protected]

30 days’ industry notice issue date (due date) Not provided, notice of implementation received 17 January
Final industry notice VICT’s final industry notice

Stevedore VICT
Effective date 1 January 2022
Rate type

Revised tariffs for import storage charges, late receival fee, maritime security levy and vehicle booking system charges. Refer to the VTIC website for the 30 days’ final notice.

60 days’ notice issue date to DoT (due date) Issued 1 November 2021 (due 1 November2021) 
60 days' industry notice (including rationale for price changes) Issued 1 November 2021 (due 1 November2021) 
Industry feedback themes Refer to VICT’s final industry notice
30 days’ industry notice issue date (due date) Issued 1 December 2021 (Due 2 December 2021)
Final industry notice VICT’s final industry notice

Stevedore VICT
Effective date 1 July 2021
Rate type Terminal infrastructure surcharge, a premium slots charge, and an empty stack run-in surcharge 
60 days’ notice issue date to DoT (due date)  3 May 2021 (due 3 May 2021) 
60 days' industry notice (including rationale for price changes)  N/A – commitment provided to transition to 60-day notice period 
Industry feedback themes  TBC 
30 days’ industry notice issue date (due date)  31 May 2021 (1 June 2021) 
Final industry notice  VICT industry notice 

Stevedore VICT
Effective date 1 January 2021
Rate type Carrier access agreement – billing terms and conditions 
60 days’ notice issue date to DoT (due date)  2 November 2020 
60 days' industry notice (including rationale for price changes)  N/A – commitment provided to transition to 60-day notice period 
Industry feedback themes  TBC 
30 days’ industry notice issue date (due date)  27 November 2020 (due 2 December 2020) 
Final industry notice  VICT industry notice 

Please provide formal feedback on these price notifications directly to the relevant stevedore.

If you wish to provide comments to the Department of Transport, please email your feedback to [email protected]