Kuehne and Nagel win plea bargain

A US court has agreed to Kuehne + Nagel’s (K+N) plea bargain with the US Department of Justice (DoJ). K+N will pay the DoJ a US$9.9 million fine for price fixing on air cargo surcharges.

The court recognised K+N’s “substantial assistance to the US authorities through its early and extensive cooperation with the investigation”.

Karl Gernandt, chairman of K+N, said: “Kuehne + Nagel is committed to abiding by all antitrust laws and regulations. I reconfirm that we continuously develop and reinforce our compliance programme to always ensure compliance with the highest available standards. The Court’s approval of the plea agreement today marks the final conclusion of the US antitrust investigation of Kuehne + Nagel commenced in 2007.”

The forwarder must be happy to have the ordeal behind it and to concentrate on the future. Despite the lacklustre vigour of the air cargo market K+N saw airfreight tonnage increase 14.5 per cent and the company as a whole posted a 1.1 per cent increase in earnings for the first nine months of the year, up to $508.5 million.

K+N highlighted the strong outbound traffic from Asia to the Middle East and South America as the main contributor to the results.

However, revenue fell 3.8 per cent to $16.3 billion.

“Considering the softening market growth, we are satisfied with our results in the first nine months of 2011. Volatility is high and the fourth quarter is expected to remain challenging,” said Reinhard Lange, K+N’s chief executive officer.

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