The ACCC produces and publishes annual container stevedoring monitoring reports.
Container stevedores are responsible for lifting containers on and off container ships. As a key part of the port supply chain, the efficiency of the stevedoring industry has a bearing on the cost of imported goods sold in Australia and the international competitiveness of Australian exports.
Under Part VIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, the ACCC monitors prices, costs and profits of container stevedoring operators located in the ports of Adelaide, Brisbane, Burnie, Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney.
On 1 November 2017, the ACCC released the Container stevedoring monitoring report 2016-17.
The key messages in this year's report are:
- Stevedoring competition has increased now that three stevedores are operating at each of the east coast container ports. However, increased competition has so far only had the effect of pushing incumbent stevedores (DP World and Patrick) to lower prices; new entrants are yet to win substantial shares of national containers.
- Average prices for the lifting of 20-foot and 40-foot containers continued to fall. Profit margins increased following increased scale economies and reduced overhead expenses by new entrants.
- New ‘infrastructure charges’ imposed by stevedores DP World and Patrick on land transport operators have been controversial. The charges are concerning given that land transport operators have limited recourse to switch stevedores in response to higher prices.
- Australian stevedoring throughput recorded new all-time highs in 2016-17. Productivity remains close to record high levels, but growth has been stagnant.
Past monitoring reports can be found at Container stevedoring monitoring reports.