Some of the world’s leading car shipping firms face the prospect of more court appearances after a class action was taken to the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) by vehicle shippers who allege price fixing and collusion by the roro companies.
The FMC is an independent federal agency that regulates ocean-going international transport in the US.
Those accused of conspiring to rig the market for bringing vehicles in to US ports include: NYK line, and Mitsui O.S.K. Line (MOL) and K-Line, all of Japan; Logistics Service (US); Eukor Car Carriers (South Korea); Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (Norway/Sweden); CSAV (Chile); Höegh Autoliners (Norway); Autotrans (US); and Nissan Motor Car Carrier Corp (Japan).
The claimants are looking to be compensated for the excess prices they paid plus interest and legal fees.
A similar case is ongoing in Brazil where nine car shipping firms are being probed for alleged price fixing and customer allocation.
Last summer K-Line and MOL both settled in a similar case – called the Vehicle Carrier Services Antitrust Litigation case – for undisclosed amounts in US District Court in the state of New Jersey in Newark.
They were accused of rigging bids, fixing prices and overcharging customers.