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Ports Use “Dirty Tricks” On Captive Customers

The Captive Port Customers Group
8 May 2002

The Captive Port Customers Group has called on the Government to respond to a Port Review report released today with specific measures to stop the “dirty tricks” the Group says ports are using against captive customers.

The Market Power of Ports Review, commissioned by the Government says a part of the market known as “captured” is not competitive, and measures such as dispute resolution, may be needed.

CPC Group spokesperson, Paul Nicholas, said the CPC Group had compiled a list of “dirty tricks” used by Ports to extort excess fees from captive customers.

“Facing competition in some of their business, ports have gone to extraordinary lengths to make excess profits from captive customers.

“Some have stopped our members from using cheaper suppliers, charged 30 percent markup on external costs, and tried to double-charge for the same services.

“Their actions have meant it is more expensive and difficult to move freight in and out of ports – which has a wider economic impact for imports, exports and products moving around the country.

“In the pursuit of profits way above those ordinary businesses would be happy with, ports have resorted to being greedy, petty, bullying, and obstructive,” Mr Nicholas said.

“We have collated enough evidence to prove that ports are one of the last remaining monopolistic giants, and it’s time they were sorted out.

“We will be going to the Government with a recommendation that they institute a procedure for this part of the market that opens the way to information disclosure in negotiations, and dispute resolution when problems arise – as they have in other network industries,” Mr Nicholas concluded.

Ends

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