Vehicle logistics has been influenced by significant industry restructuring and corporate merger and takeover activity in recent times. As a result, the FCAI has worked actively to ensure that members have ongoing access to cost effective, efficient and reliable logistics services.
Accordingly, the FCAI supported the proposed arrangement to restructure Toll Holdings Ltd and create the infrastructure company, Asciano. It was considered that such a strategy would reinstate the status quo that existed in the industry prior to the takeover of Patrick Corporation Limited and provide an opportunity to re-establish stability and certainty into the automotive logistics sector.
Other factors affecting efficiency have been caused by the significant growth in imports and limited available port land which has created periodic congestion at various ports throughout the year. The FCAI vehicle logistics committee has worked closely with port facility providers and shipping lines to minimise the impact on members.
To enable the FCAI to negotiate on port related matters on behalf of its members, the Chamber made application to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) seeking authorisation to negotiate on the development of new facilities for the importation and exportation of motor vehicles and to negotiate model terms and conditions for new and existing facilities. Authorisation was granted on 6 June 2007 covering such negotiations with stevedores and port facility managers including Australian Automotive Terminals (AAT). Negotiations have already commenced with AAT to progress the development of a charging model for each port facility under their management.
Discussions have also commenced with the Port of Melbourne following the release of its Port Development Plan which proposed the relocation of the automotive trade to Yarraville or an alternative Victorian Port, namely Hastings or Geelong, from 2025. The FCAI is firmly of the view that importation and exportation of motor vehicles should be retained at Webb Dock and approval should be given to additional land being allocated to the industry to accommodate future growth in both import and export trade.
October saw the closure of Darling Harbour to cargo ships and the relocation of Wallenius Wilhelmsen vessels to Port Kembla. The balance of the trade which is currently being serviced through Glebe Island, will follow around September 2008.
Consistent with the FCAI’s involvement with the Australian Logistics Council, the Chamber has worked to promote effective compliance and a responsible and safety aware culture throughout the logistics supply chain for the industry. The Chain of Responsibility Code of Conduct and Dealer Guidelines have been completed and members are urged to support the adoption of the Code throughout their network of suppliers, service providers and dealers.