Zentner Shipping have recently been informed of proposed changes to the Fremantle Ports Authority’s berthing rules, guidelines and scheduling. We have gone through these new guidelines and believe there is concern for potential congestion to result from their implementation.
Under these guidelines, any vessels can be instructed to vacate it’s berth at the sole discretion of the Harbour Master. There are several conditions mentioned, however the one worth highlighting is when larger container or RoRo vessels are required to berth. This would allow these vessel to ‘jump the queue’ and not only force other vessels off berth but also berth ahead of vessels waiting at anchorage, eliminating the current ‘turn-of-arrival’ criteria (first-come-first-serve).
All berth evacuation charges would be at the cost of the carrier as the Port Authority will not take on any pilotage, towage, mooring services or other incidental costs. As a result a portion of these costs will have to be passed on to our customers.
We have already been affected by these types of vessel movements on earlier voyages and these proposed guidelines lead us to believe that this could become a regular occurrence.
We have objected these proposed rules and guidelines due to not only the risk they pose to delays to berthing, but also the costs associated with vacating the berth and loss of berth slot which will negatively affect our Island service.
We have also made our concerns known to Department of Infrastructure and WA Premier and ministers.
Please refer to the notices from Fremantle Port Authority and ASC Liner Services regarding the matter.