Japanese forwarders admit price fixing

AT a US court a group of six Japanese freight forwarders have admitted cargo price fixing over a period of at least five years.

The sextet engaged in a conspiracy to fix and impose certain freight forwarding service fees, including fuel surcharges and various security fees, charged to customers for services provided in connection with air freight forwarding shipments of cargo shipped by air from Japan to the US.

Hankyu Hanshin Express, Kintetsu World Express, Nippon Express, Nishi-Nippon Railroad, Nissin and Vantec will pay fines totalling US$46.8 million after they fixed certain fees from September 2002 until at least November 2007.

The plea agreements are subject to court approval. The Justice Department said these were the second round of charges filed as a result of its antitrust investigation of the freight forwarding industry.

“Including today’s charges, 12 companies have agreed to plead guilty and nearly $100 million in criminal fines have been obtained as a result of the Antitrust Division’s ongoing freight forwarding investigation,” Sharis Pozen, acting assistant attorney general, said.

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