Wednesday, March 28, 2012

EU Anti Trust Body May Levy Billions in Fines on Freight Forwarding and Logistics Groups

Cartel Activity Decision Expected Today
Shipping News Feature

EUROPE- The wheels of justice appear to be turning at their usual pace and it must be tortuous for the bosses of some of the leading freight forwarding companies as, like the sword of Damocles, they await their fate expected to be announced later today. Early in 2010 we reported on the raids carried out by EU anti trust investigators on some of the regions principal logistics operators, now it seems a decision is likely today from the European Commission and history says they are unlikely to be gentle given their history of imposing huge fines for cartel activity.

According to ‘sources’ within the EU operation the investigation dates back to 2007 and, as usual, some of the companies identified are likely to have been acquired by other major freight groups since the original offences were committed. The companies involved are by no means simply European based outfits with names like Agility, Kintetsu World Express, Yusen Logistics and Nippon Express also in the frame.

This sort of cartel activity has proved a handsome financial dividend for the authorities worldwide over the past few years producing billions of dollars in penalties, far too many to list here (for more information simply type cartel into the News search box at the head of this page) and this latest round of penalties is likely to cost those found guilty up to 10% of their annual turnover.

We understand that an agreement for cooperation between Deutsche Post DHL will mean they may avoid severe penalties; Kuehne + Nagel also have history in this regard. It is believed some of the companies also under investigation allegedly include Schenker, Hellman, CEVA, DSV, Panalpina and UPS but historically fines can vary considerably between individual companies and only when the EU pronounces on the matter will the truth come out.