Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Cook Strait Freight Market Under Threat

Road Transport Forum NZ has identified serious concerns over the pricing policies used by Tranz Rail in the Cook Strait freight market and has asked Transport Minister Mark Goshe to pass the matter on to the Commerce Commission for urgent attention.

Forum chief executive Tony Friedlander said the rate structure since the introduction of increased competition suggested Tranz Rail had been exploiting their dominant position in the market. “With Tranz Rail services accounting for more than 80 percent of Cook Strait traffic capacity, they are able to exploit their dominant position by running targeted sailings at greatly reduced prices without having a major impact on their overall profitability,” he said.

Mr Friedlander said Tranz Rail seemed to have been running such sailings at times that were in direct competition with their major competitor, Top Cat, which began operations in May 1999. “When Top Cat entered the market, it charged the going rate of about $90 per lane metre for freight, but since it began, Tranz Rail have been heavily discounting their rates.”

In May this year, Tranz Rail offered all customers new rates of $60 per lane metre for four of its daily crossings, and an unprecedented $45 for two. This rate is less than half the real average charged by Tranz Rail less than two years ago. The $45 rate applies to the 6.30am sailing of the Aratere from Wellington and its return trip from Picton at 10.30am. “These both depart within an hour of Top Cat which suggests the targeted pricing structure is in place specifically to eliminate Top Cat from the market . This seems to indicate the rate is a temporary measure aimed at crippling Top Cat’s profitability and leading to a reinstatement of a Tranz Rail monopoly,” said Mr Friedlander.

Mr Friedlander said that if a monopoly was returned to the market, substantial rate increases would be likely, as would huge ramifications for the trucking industry and national economy.

Road Transport Forum NZ is also concerned at what appears to be price discrimination by Tranz Rail between trucks and cars. Trucks using Tranz Rail have historically paid about double the lane metre rate as cars. But a comparison of overseas car and truck pricing on the English Channel suggests that trucks should pay about the same as cars. “This suggests Tranz Rail have been discriminating against trucks to force up the cost trucking companies charge clients with the aim of diverting traffic to their own rail services,” said Mr Friedlander.

“Cook Strait shipping services are the critical link in the Interisland freight market. Competition and efficiency in the market are vital to the New Zealand economy and must be maintained. This is why these matters must be urgently addressed by the Commerce Commission before it’s too late,” said Mr Friedlander.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The SFO’s Investigation Of New Zealand First

On one level. New Zealand First has been the agent of its own misfortune. The New Zealand First Foundation handling the donations at the centre of the Serious Fraud Office investigation was reportedly (a) authorised by the NZF party’s board and (b)the money was apparently used to finance the party’s activities. Yet the disclosure trail remained opaque. According to its critics, NZF can’t have it both ways: it can’t claim that the foundation and the party were entirely separate legal entities, and then go to court to try and block the SFO from releasing its findings because of the likely impact on the party’s electoral fortunes... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Whether This Election Is Already A Foregone Conclusion

Currently, this election looks like being a no contest. The weekend’s Newshub poll has the centre left enjoying a roughly 57-36% lead over the centre right. Labour is on 50.1% and the Greens 6.5%, while National remains in the dreaded 20s at 29.6% More>>

ALSO:

Serious Fraud Office: Files Charges In Relation To NZ First Foundation Donations

The SFO has filed a charge of ‘Obtaining by Deception’ against two defendants in the New Zealand First Foundation electoral funding case. The charges were filed on 23 September. The defendants have interim name suppression and so cannot be named ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: Business Leaders’ Confidence Tanks As Top Kiwi CEOs Vent Their Frustrations

The New Zealand Herald’s Mood of the Boardroom 2020 Election Survey has been released with top business leaders saying New Zealand’s Covid-19 recovery is in peril – and they want a decisive role with Government in the country’s future. The annual ... More>>

ALSO:


Poll: Newshub-Reid Research Poll Shows National Rising But Labour Still Governing Alone

With less than three weeks to go, Labour remains in a position where it could govern alone in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll* on 50.1% - down 10.8 percentage points. National has risen slightly to 29.6% (up 4.5 percentage points), but even with the ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Taking Action To Reduce Waste And Plastics

Phase out single use and hard to recycle plastics by 2025 Create a $50m Plastics Innovation Fund to develop alternatives Standardise kerbside recycling The Labour Party is taking the next step in removing plastic rubbish from our oceans and environment ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding ... More>>

ALSO:

Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On

With just over three weeks until the General Election, the release of the first major pre-election opinion poll this week confirmed what was already being reported about this year’s campaign. Although the gap between Labour and National has narrowed ... More>>

Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels