Cartel Digest

International Ocean Shipping Services

International Ocean Shipping Services
  Overall Cartel Period 2000-2012
  Participants Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, AS, Nissan Motor Car Carrier Co., Ltd, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd., Compañía Sudamericana de Vapores S.A.
  Total Fines (DOJ) $136 million
  Total Fines (EC) No fines imposed
In September 2012, the Japan Fair Trade Commission (“JFTC”) initiated investigations into cartel conduct in the international ocean shipping services industry. International ocean shipping services for automobiles are services for transporting cars and trucks by roll-on, roll-off vessels, such as PCCs (Pure Car Carriers) and PCTCs (Pure Car and Truck Carriers). In 2014, the JFTC issued cease and desist orders and surcharge payment orders totaling ¥22.7 billion against four companies.  According to the JFTC, five companies, including Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, AS, Nissan Motor Car Carrier Co., Ltd, and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd., engaged in conspiracy to fix freight rates and/or collude freight rate quotations in international ocean shipping services for automobiles from 2008 to 2012.

In the United States, three companies have pleaded guilty for their participation in the cartel and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) imposed fines totaling $136 million.
 
Enforcement Highlights:

  • The approximately ¥13.1 billion of surcharges ordered against Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha was the largest surcharge against one company ordered by the JFTC as of January 2014.
  • The DOJ imposed fines totaling $136 million against two companies. 
Company Conspiracy Period Fine (USD) Plea Date No. of Excluded Individuals Plea Agreement
Compañía Sudamericana de Vapores 1/00-9/12 $8.9 million 02/27/2014 N/A  
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K-Line) 2/97-9/12 $67.7 million 09/26/2014 N/A  
Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha 2/97-9/12 $59.4 million 12/29/2014  
Individual Company Prison Sentence Fine (USD) Plea Date Plea Agreement
Hiroshige Tanioka, Assistant Manager Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K-Line) 18 Months $20,000 02/15/2015 Plea Agreement
Takashi Yamaguchi, General Manager Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K-Line) 14 Months $20,000 02/06/2015 Plea Agreement
Susumu Tanaka, Deputy General Manager Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha 15 Months $20,000 03/10/2015 Plea Agreement
Japan
Company Fine Date
Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha ¥ 13.1 billion 03/18/2014
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. ¥ 5.6 billion 03/18/2014
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, AS ¥ 3.4 billion 03/18/2014
Nissan Motor Car Carrier Co., Ltd ¥ 423.3 million 03/18/2014
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. No fines imposed 03/18/2014