Voluntary Pricing Protocol for Stevedore Landside Charges

In response, 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.

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.

The new notice periods have been introduced for greater consistency with other jurisdictions, including at Port Botany.

The Voluntary Protocol for Notifications regarding pricing for container stevedore landside charges is as follows:

Voluntary Protocol – Notifications regarding pricing for landside charges.

Container terminal operators in the Port of Melbourne that levy charges to access their terminals are requested to adhere to this protocol to increase the transparency and predictability of charges.

  1. Stevedore terminal handling[1] charges will only be changed once per annum[2].[3]
  2. Stevedores must issue a notice of intention to the Secretary, Department of Transport, and Industry, 60 days prior to the proposed date of the increase of an existing charge or introduction of a new charge.
  3. The notice of intention to change prices or introduce a new charge to the Department of Transport must be accompanied by detailed reasons for the increase or introduction of a new charge, including all relevant supporting information or data.[4]
  4. The notice of intention to change prices or introduce a new charge to Industry will be published on the operator’s website and must outline relevant detail of the rationale for the price increase or introduction of a new charge[5].
  5. Stevedores will receive feedback from Department of Transport, and Industry, on the proposed increase or introduction of a new charge. This feedback will be published on the Department of Transport website based on the feedback themes.
  6. Stevedores must issue a final notice of changed prices 30 days prior to the date of the proposed increase. The final notice should incorporate a statement of engagement summarising issues raised by affected stakeholders and the response of the terminal operator.

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

[1] This incorporates all charges payable in connection with the operation or provision of land-based facilities and services at Terminals.

[2] If additional increases are required within a twelve-month period, this Protocol should be followed.

[3] Stevedores may nominate a specific date if desired.

[4] Feedback was received that Clauses 3 and 4 duplicate each other.  The purpose of having two Clauses was to facilitate the provision of detailed information to the Department that operators may not wish to provide to Industry.

[5] To clarify the mechanism for consultation with Industry.