Japans forwarders raided

JUST as Japan Airlines was entering court to plead guilty to price-fixing among airlines, Japan’s Fair Trade Commission launched a series of surprise raids on 13 logistics and freight forwarding companies and the Japan Aircargo Forwarders Association.

It is likely the investigation is linked to the raids on freight forwarders in the US, UK, Switzerland and other countries in October last year.

It is alleged that the Japanese companies are suspected of forming a price cartel for international air cargo shipments. Companies raided included Nippon Express, Kintetsu World Express, Yusen Air and Sea and Nishi-Nippon Railroad.

The companies are alleged to have been operating as a cartel since around 2004 in violation of anti-monopoly laws.

The investigation will establish whether any of the companies are guilty of fixing rates or fuel and security surcharges, using meetings at the Japan Aircargo Forwarders Association to reach agreement.

The 13 companies under investigation, hold a combined share of around 75 per cent of Japan’s air cargo market and if found guilty, are likely to face multi-million dollar fines.

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