A scheme to inflate and maintain freight forwarding surcharges that began shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and continued until January 2011, has led DHL Global Forwarding (DHLGF, the forwarding arm of Deutsche Post-DHL) to agree to pay a US$53 million settlement in a class action lawsuit that was filed in 2008. If approved, the settlement will allow DHLGF to exit the lawsuit.
DHL Global Forwarding has agreed to cooperate with the plaintiffs in pursuing claims against the sole remaining defendant accused of antitrust behavior, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics. The company said it will provide witnesses, evidence and supplemental data if the case should go to trial. Plaintiffs, however, have also indicated that they have reached a settlement, in principle, with Hellmann last month.
Precision Associates Inc., et al v. Panalpina World Transport (Holding) Ltd., et al, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the eastern district of New York. The suit was brought by 11 plaintiffs, including shippers Precision Associates, Mail Boxes Etc. Inc. and JCK Industries, Inc., and accused multiple companies of antitrust conspiracies that violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, according to Top Class Actions.
Other companies involved in the eight-year-long price-fixing litigation – including Agility Logistics, UPS, SDV, Panalpina, Geodis, DSV, Jet Speed, Toll Group, Dachser and others – agreed to pay a total of $197.6 million in October in 11 separate settlements.
Approval of DHLGF’s settlement will save judicial and litigation costs. If approved, the class action is open to any of the class members who purchased U.S. freight forwarding services for shipments to or from the U.S. between Jan. 1, 2001 and Jan. 4, 2011.