Mandatory standards for carriers and stevedores

    Road carriers and stevedores servicing Port Botany are subject to mandatory performance standards.

    Road carriers and stevedores servicing Port Botany are subject to mandatory performance standards that regulate road freight movements to and from the port.

    The standards are embedded in the Ports and Maritime Administration Regulation 2012. They came into force in 2010 and were last updated in December 2015:

    Mandatory standards were introduced under the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy (PBLIS) following a 2008 Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) finding that:

    • Bottlenecks at the port caused congestion on the wider Sydney road network
    • Waiting times for trucks were often unreasonably long
    • Stevedores were unable to service trucks within the timeslot booked due to a lack of clear rules around terminal delays
    • Ineffective working relationships between stevedores and truck drivers were hurting supply chain operations
    • There was no performance data available about landside operations.

    Read the IPART report (PDF, 1.09 MB) and the NSW Government response (PDF, 94.57 KB).

    Detailed information

    Operational performance measures

    Operational performance measures improve efficiency at Port Botany’s landside interface by encouraging the port supply chain’s stakeholders to be accountable to each other for their on time and servicing performance.

    The operational performance measures are:

    Road carriers: early arrivals, late arrivals, no shows, and cancellation of bookings (listings)

    Stevedores: minimum number of slots offered per hour, truck turnaround time, failure or refusal to perform truck servicing, and time zone cancellations.

    There are approximately 530 road carriers operating at Port Botany and three stevedores: DP World Australia, Sydney Autostrad Terminal and Sydney International Container Terminals Limited.

    Financial penalties

    Road carriers and stevedores are required to adhere to their operational performance measures to be compliant with the mandatory standards. If the standards are not met and the carrier or stevedore is found liable, they must pay a financial penalty to the other party.


    Financial penalties are issued through each stevedore’s invoicing process. Stevedores invoice road carriers that have not met operational performance measures detailing penalties they owe. They ‘self-invoice’ for financial penalties they owe to road carriers.

    The CMCC monitors and audits these invoicing processes. If it finds that a party has not issued a penalty, issued a penalty incorrectly or has not paid a penalty, they may be fined.


    If a stevedore or road carrier has incorrectly received a penalty or did not receive payment for a penalty, they should first try to resolve the issue directly with the other party. If a resolution cannot be reached, the affected party can lodge an enquiry with the CMCC by contacting 02 8265 7920 or

    In order to lodge an enquiry, stevedores or carriers must meet the following criteria:

    There must be more than 28 days passed since the incident occurred

    The affected party has paid the disputed penalty and can demonstrate they have attempted to resolve the enquiry directly

    The affected party is registered on the Operational Performance System

    The enquiry is submitted to the CMCC within 14 days of the invoice being issued.

    Unforeseen events at Port Botany

    If an ‘unforeseen event’ (as defined in the legislation*) is confirmed, any financial penalty that is payable by a carrier or stevedore for a failure to comply with a mandatory standard is reduced to $0.

    [* Clause 12.1 for carriers and 16.1 for stevedores in the Ports and Maritime Administration Regulation 2012 and the associated Port Botany Landside Operations Mandatory Standards under Part 2B of the Ports and Maritime Administration Regulation 2012].

    See the list of confirmed unforeseen events since 2011.

    See Unforeseen Event - Schedule 5 Incident Report

    Impact of mandatory standards

    By 2018, the road efficiency reforms at Port Botany will have delivered almost $100 million in economic benefits to importers, exporters, taxpayers and consumers (Deloitte Access Economics report).

    The reforms have resulted in:

    Less congestion on Sydney roads

    Faster truck turnaround times – down from an average of 52 minutes in 2009 to 24 minutes in 2015-16 – and shorter truck queues

    More efficient terminal operations

    More capacity during peak-hour operations

    Higher cost savings and lower labour and capital costs as throughput continues to increase

    Better working relationships between road carriers, stevedores and other players in the supply chain.