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ESC backs air cargo-pricing investigation

ESC backs air cargo-pricing investigation

   The European Shippers’ Council has backed the joint European Union and U.S. Justice Department investigation into pricing practices in the air freight industry.

   Governmental representatives Tuesday raided offices of airlines in Europe, the United States and Asia in search of evidence relating to possible cartel activity.

   “Shippers have since a long time been concerned about nearly identical levels of surcharges in respect of fuel price increases, new security measures and other factors,” said Nicolette van der Jagt, ESC secretary general. “Despite different airlines having very different operational characteristics and economies, they invariably seem to set very similar or even identical levels of surcharges. This has raised the suspicion among many shippers that these surcharges represent some form of price agreement.

   “Shippers therefore hope that this investigation can clear this up as it would help in the further building of customer confidence. Shippers have a right to expect airlines to operate in a competitive market as this helps drive down costs, increase efficiency, and ensure a customer focus in the provision of services. We look forward to the conclusions of this investigation,” van der Jagt said.

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