Legitimacy of DCT’s collection of a rail management fee
Due to incomplete information regarding DCT Gdansk S.A.’s (DCT)s rail service charges in the public space, we would like to present the history, purpose and principles of charging a manipulation fee for our railway services (herein after called a management fee or the fee).
Since 2008, the rail management fee in its current form has been included in DCT’s standard tariff (currently it is point 3 of the tariff). DCT charges this fee to intermodal operators. The rail service management fee is charged for a number of services performed by our employees for intermodal operators, for the handling of railway wagons (services such as preparation of the loading plan, setting up of lashing pins on wagons, etc). These activities do not occur in the case of road transport or are performed by the truck driver himself. These activities are also not included in the fees we charge shipping lines which the Lines settle as part of their THC.
In April 2019, in order to provide greater transparency, DCT indicated in the public tariff examples of the activities performed as part of the railway services (there has been no change to these services, they have been performed since the commencement of operations).
The level of the management fee for rail services has changed over the years (similarly to other fees in our tariff). In 2018 DCT introduced additions to the handling fee for work performed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (thus bringing the fees into line with other fees in our tariff). Since the 1st January 2019 the basic rail management fee has been €4.60 per TEU, with surcharges applied for work on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Throughout this time, intermodal operators have paid the management fee for the rail services provided by DCT’s employees. However, at the beginning of 2019 two intermodal operators, including PCC Intermodal S.A. stopped paying the management fee, deciding to question whether they should pay for the services DCT provided to them. PCC Intermodal S.A. has chosen to comment publicly and with its clients on this dispute, therefore DCT would like to present the current status of this dispute.
After many years of cooperation, PCC Intermodal S.A. questioned the legitimacy of DCT charging a management fee, claiming that DCT Gdansk S.A. does not provide any services that benefit PCC. After several months of negotiations, the parties failed to reach an agreement and PCC Intermodal S.A. continued to refuse to pay the fee. DCT staff continued to provide services to PCC throughout this time and still does, because without them a train cannot be handled and this would impact the importers and exporters who are ultimately PCC’s customers. Eventually, DCT was forced to file a lawsuit in court seeking payment from PCC. The District Court in Gdansk, by an appealable judgment of 17 March 2020 (file ref. IX GC 635/19) confirmed the legitimacy of DCT’s collection of a rail management fee for our rail services and ordered PCC Intermodal S.A. to pay the overdue amount in full, together with interest and costs.
DCT provides the above facts in the name of full transparency.
In closing, the full DCT team wishes you health, resilience and positivity for the coming months as together we face and overcome the COVID-19 challenge.
DCT Gdansk S.A.