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The unavoidable OMICRON impacts on Logistics


As we are all aware of, omicron is sending jitters through transport sector, stevedores and other supply chain participants who are feeling the crippling impacts of the current Omicron outbreak increasing operational costs. Last week our industry witnessed a close call with a container collapse and tragically, a casualty with a depot workplace accident which created a significant concerns.

We are hoping that all in our sector can commercially survive and keeping freight moving during this incredibly difficult time, importantly in a safe and compliant manner.


Victorian International Container Terminal (VICT) recently announced the new 'temporary tariff' to help recover 'extraordinary costs' and is effective from 1 February 2022 which will be paid by transport companies like the stevedore-imposed Terminal Access Charges. However, members have noted that whilst the VICT increase is $3.97 (excl GST), they have questioned how some major transport operators have made similar claims yet are charging new and significantly higher per container surcharges.

Although, frustration continues to grow with stevedore practices where they are NOT passing on the cost in negotiations with their commercial client (shipping lines), instead they are taking the soft option of using the 'ransom model' and imposing it on transport operators who have no choice but to pay to get terminal access. This latest increase also makes a further farce of the Victorian Voluntary Pricing Protocol with VICT failing to maintain the 60 day initial consultation period or the 30 day final notice period for any adjustments to charges.

On the other hand, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) initiated investigations that concerns many transport operators that have implemented similar fees in quick succession over the last two weeks.


International shipping line who are already proudly reporting multi-billion dollar profits and will cash in on detention penalties caused by delays in returning empty containers creates commercial fear with current global shipping climate. We have seen a number of cases where there is an inability to obtain BMSB verification inspections for 4-6 weeks. In such scenarios and to avoid container detention penalties potentially tallying to tens of thousands of dollars, we suggest that members contact Seasonal Pests Policy ( and request if they can provide alternative solutions.

In the current operating environment there will no doubt that many scenarios where delay in returning empty containers within prescribed timeframes cannot be avoided. We have written to major shipping lines with all refusing our request for a blanket extension of detention free days. Most conceded they will assess the quantum of penalties on a ‘case by case’ basis.

We encourage members to take up the offer of shipping lines to raise concerns and to document these scenarios or by contacting Image International Freight representative, for assistance on the matter.


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