Tuesday, August 22, 2017

South Korea Hands Out Fines to Freight Shipping Lines

Guilty of Colluding on RoRo Rates
Shipping News Feature
SOUTH KOREA – The South Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has imposed a total fine of 43 billion won (around US$37.8 million) on nine international shipping companies following allegations that the shippers violated the country's competition laws by colluding to segment the market of ocean shipping services for RoRo cargo. The carriers involved have all seen heavy fines previously levied against them for a variety of anti-competitive practices worldwide, with each collecting several million dollars in fines as they go.

Japan's Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Lines (K Line), Nissan Motor Car Carrier (NMCC), Estern Car Liner; Norway's Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL), Hoegh Autoliners; Chile's Compania Sudamericana de Vapores (CSAV); Israel’s Zim; and South Korea's Eukor Car Carriers, are all accused of having participated in cartel between at least 2002 and 2012, where they apparently agreed to carry RoRo cargo on different routes involving South Korean ports.

The FTC says that the carriers agreed on the contracts in advance, with carriers either not taking part in certain tenders or intentionally high-balling the bids. The tenders included shipments for GM, Renault Samsung, Fiat, Volvo, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, Ford, Chrysler, Hino Motors, and Toyota. The fines are, reportedly, as follows:

  • MOL – 16.9 billion won ($14.8 million)
  • K Line – 12.8 billion won ($11.2 million)
  • NYK – 4.9 billion won ($4.3 million)
  • WWL – 4.1 billion won ($3.6 million)
  • Eukor – 2 billion won ($1.7 million)
  • NMCC – 1.2 billion won ($1.05 million)
  • CSAV – 685 million won ($600,000)
  • Eastern Car Liner – 266 million won ($234,000)
  • Zim – 122 million won ($107,000)
Hoegh Autoliners managed to escape the imposed penalties.