EU to fine UPS, other logistics firms over cartel

Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:56pm EDT
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By Foo Yun Chee and Francesco Guarascio

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators are set to fine 13 logistics firms, including UPS, Panalpina and Expeditors, on Wednesday for taking part in a cartel, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

A European Commission document seen by Reuters also confirmed that a decision and fines would be announced on Wednesday.

Deutsche Post unit DHL Global Forwarding, which took part in the cartel but alerted the regulator to the collusion, will escape a financial penalty, the people with knowledge of the case told Reuters. The company confirmed this.

The European Commission charged the firms in February 2010 with fixing prices in the air freight forwarding business, in breach of EU antitrust rules. The charges followed raids on the companies three years earlier.

"The Commission's decision is expected tomorrow," said one of the sources, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter. The EU watchdog can fine companies up to 10 percent of their annual turnover for breaching EU rules.

A separate Commission document obtained by Reuters listed other members of the cartel as CEVA/EGL, Deutsche Bahn's logistics unit Schenker AG, Germany's Hellmann Worldwide Logistics and Japanese firm Kintetsu World Express.

Other companies named were Switzerland's Kuehne & Nagel, Nippon Express (China), Kuwaiti firm Agility, UTi, Denmark's DSV Air & Sea SAS and Yusen Shenda Air & Sea Service.

DHL Global Forwarding has said the Commission's case related to different surcharges imposed by the firms.   Continued...

United Parcel Service cargo aircraft are loaded with air containers full of packages bound for their final destination at the UPS Worldport All Points International Hub during the peak delivery day in Louisville, Kentucky, December 22, 2011. REUTERS/John Sommers II