VICTORIA International Container Terminal has announced a New Year increase in the infrastructure surcharge.

From 1 January, the fee will rise from $85 per full container to $121.80.

Other stevedores have taken similar actions during the past two years, the most recent example being DPWA which increased its terminal access charge in Fremantle from $8.22 per full container to $45.

In a statement, to customers, VICT noted improved systems efficiencies for both landside and shipside operations and increased receival periods by extending opening hours. 

“As the market is changing, there is a shift towards split waterside and landside tariffs,” the VICT statement read.

“This rebalancing allows VICT to remain competitive in the market, whilst continuing to provide shipping lines and shippers with leading service levels and a viable alternative container terminal in Melbourne.”

Freight and Trade Alliance director and Australian Peak Shippers secretariat Paul Zalai said VICT had become the first Australian stevedore to “crack the $100 mark for infrastructure surcharges” and proved it was time for the government of Victoria to act.

Mr Zalai said VICT had “conveniently cleared the path for others to continue the pattern of spiralling increases in terminal access charges”.

“The international trade sector, and other state regulators, wait with interest to see if and when the Victorian government will reveal the findings of their Port Pricing and Access Review,” Mr Zalai said.

“Low margin commodity exporters are particularly hardest hit by these unfettered and unregulated price increases at a time also when drought and other supply chain pressures are impacting export growth generally.

“At a time when traders, logistics providers and the agriculture sector need it most, we need the Minister [Melissa Horne] to stand up as a true leader.”