The global witch hunt

As the global air cargo anti-trust investigation broadens, its hardto ignore its increasingly witch hunt-like tenor. Call me naïve, but it strikes me that the issue is largely not one of purposeful wrongdoing and sinister intentions, but rather a case of somewhat unwittingly crossing the legal grey zone. With anti-trust investigators around the globe scrounging […]


As the global air cargo anti-trust investigation broadens, its hardto ignore its increasingly witch hunt-like tenor.

Call me naïve, but it strikes me that the issue is largely not one of purposeful wrongdoing and sinister intentions, but rather a case of somewhat unwittingly crossing the legal grey zone.

With anti-trust investigators around the globe scrounging about like hard-nosed murder detectives, it’s hard not to come away with the impression that the transgressions of a fair chunk of the air freight industry were simply a well-coordinated, meticulously thought out scam. Many would argue that quite on the contrary, the discussion of market information, often including rate trends and surcharges, is a fundamental legacy of the air freight industry over the past decades. More to the point, these came about as a direct result of the unique nature of the air cargo industry ¨C one defined by a high degree of regulation, massive capital costs and unique nature of trade flows that almost always result in severe imbalances.

Lets face it, this is hardly an industry woven with the threads of a free market economy. Bi-lateral traffic rights, national ownership restrictions, capital controls and so on, not only continue to cripple the industry but bear great responsibility for creating this so-called ¡®cartel’ behaviour. Had the authorities spend as much time examining how to move forward and fi x the antiquated regulations that are hobbling the industry as they have playing super sleuth in the anti-trust game, everybody would be better off .