Three global forwarders fined in NZ

BAX Global, Schenker and Panalpina have become the latest freight forwarders to be fined by New Zealand authorities for colluding on air freight surcharges. The High Court in Auckland fined the companies a total of NZ$5.2 million (US$4.2 million), plus costs, for breaches of New Zealand’s competition law, following an investigation by the NZ Commerce […]


BAX Global, Schenker and Panalpina have become the latest freight forwarders to be fined by New Zealand authorities for colluding on air freight surcharges. The High Court in Auckland fined the companies a total of NZ$5.2 million (US$4.2 million), plus costs, for breaches of New Zealand’s competition law, following an investigation by the NZ Commerce Commission that began in 2007. BAX was ordered to pay NZ$1.4 million and NZ$50,000 costs; Schenker, NZ$1.1 million and NZ$25,000 in costs; and Panalpina, NZ$2.7 million and NZ$75,000 costs. The court said the surcharge agreements were “part of a sustained course of conduct involving covert meetings and communications in a market of fundamental importance to New Zealand”. The breaches of competition law involved three surcharge agreements. BAX admitted applying the UK NES surcharge and the Chinese CAF surcharge. Schenker had also applied the Chinese CAF surcharge, while Panalpina applied the Air AMS surcharge. The fines follow penalties already imposed by the High Court for similar conduct in the freight forwarding sector by EGL and Geologistics International (Bermuda). Total cartel penalties imposed to date are NZ$8.85 million, including fines imposed on airlines Qantas, British Airways, Cargolux and Eva Airways. The commission’s cartel case continues against Swiss forwarder Kuehne + Nagel.