Container stevedoring involves lifting containers on and off ships. 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 7 November 2016, the ACCC released its 2015-16 container stevedoring monitoring report. On 7 November 2016, the ACCC released its 2015-16 annual container stevedoring monitoring report. The report finds that increased competition is continuing to deliver benefits to users of stevedoring services and the wider Australian community:
- Average prices for 20-foot and 40-foot containers fell by 1 per cent in real terms and are now at the lowest level since the ACCC commenced its monitoring
- Industry margins and rate of return on assets are also at the lowest level recorded by the monitoring program
- Productivity remained close to record high levels.
The report also notes that there continue to be challenges for new entrants to Australian stevedoring. However, as a result of substantial investments by new stevedores there is now infrastructure to support three stevedores in the three largest container ports in Australia.
The container stevedoring monitoring report also sets out the ACCC’s observations on matters relating to the broader container freight supply chain, including port privatisations, rail connections to container ports, coastal shipping, and road funding reforms.