Extended Empty Depot Hours in Sydney Welcomed

CTAA has welcomed the extension of operating hours at MCS/Qube Cooks River depot in Sydney from today (7 October), but insists that 24 hours should be the goal.

The higher cost of empty container management in Sydney needs to be offset with productivity and efficiency improvements. 

On 16 September, MCS/Qube increased its weekday Notification Fee at Cooks River with the promise of additional equipment & labour, and extended operating hours, to assist during peak season.

“Certainly there was an expectation in the market that MCS/Qube would open on a 24 hour basis on weekdays according to its Notice to customers accompanying the significant price increases.” claimed CTAA Director, Neil Chambers.

“So, while the three hours of additional operating time on weekdays is welcomed from today, the goal must be to change the operating behaviour of depots and transport operators alike in Sydney to embrace 24 hour operations for empty container management into the future.”

Another major provider of empty container management capacity in Sydney, ACFS Port Logistics, is now offering a 24 hour service 5 days a week at its e-Depot in Port Botany, as well as Saturday 5am to 2pm, and Sunday 2pm to Monday 5am, while ACFS e-Depot Link, Port Botany is 24 hours five days a week.

DP World Logistics Parks 1 & 2 in Port Botany are operating 24 hours weekdays, and open on weekends by prior arrangement.

“In contrast to the rival port of Melbourne, there are significantly fewer empty container depots servicing the container logistics chain through Port Botany, and the cost of empty container management is now much higher.”

“So, these higher costs, and fewer empty de-hire and pick-up options, must be offset with productivity improvements for landside logistics operators.”  “If we are to avoid bottlenecks, congestion, truck delays and lower productivity levels, we’ve got to sustain longer depot operating hours, combined with an operational mind-set shift by transport operators to embrace extended operating hours.” Neil Chambers observed.

“A concern of all depots when gearing up for longer operating hours, additional equipment and more expensive labour allocations, is that the longer hours will not be utilised effectively by transport operators. This is a real concern, and previous slot booking allocations during extended hours have sometimes been lacklustre at best.”

“This mind-set needs to change. The higher volume transport operators are embracing the 24 hour operating cycle, and now the medium to smaller size carriers need to do likewise. Transport operators have asked for extended hours, so now’s the time to modify operational practices to embrace the future.” Neil Chambers concluded.