Global cargo cartel fallout lands in Japan

Japan’s Fair Trade Commission has notified more than 10 companies that they will be fined about ¥10 billion (US$103.2 million) for operating a cartel on international air cargo services. The FTC believes that the companies, including major distribution and logistics companies Nippon Express Co., Kintetsu World Express Inc. and Yusen Air & Sea Service Co., […]


cartel competition Japan Kintetsu World Express Nippon Express price fixing Yusen Air & Sea Service


Japan’s Fair Trade Commission has notified more than 10 companies that they will be fined about ¥10 billion (US$103.2 million) for operating a cartel on international air cargo services. The FTC believes that the companies, including major distribution and logistics companies Nippon Express Co., Kintetsu World Express Inc. and Yusen Air & Sea Service Co., constrained fair competition by forming a cartel that added fuel surcharges and airport security charges to their air cargo service charges. The companies negotiated the arrangements at meetings of the Japan Aircargo Forwarders Association, and the practice continued from 2004 to 2007. They dissolved the cartel only after European Union and US authorities began investigating in 2007, Japanese media reported citing sources close to the investigation. The three largest forwarding firms have a combined share of about 50 per cent of the domestic forwarding market. The FTC has been investigating since last April and will decide on the exact amount of the fine after hearing from the companies. It will then issue them a cease-and-desist order.