Ocean freight companies ECU Line Canada Inc. and Overseas Container Forwarding Inc., and two of ECU’s executives have pleaded guilty to price fixing. They participated in a cartel that fixed surcharges for the supply of non vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC) export consolidation services from Canada to various foreign destinations between January 1, 2005 and March 6, 2011. NVOCCs arrange the consolidation of less-than-container load shipments into containers, the shipment of these containers by ocean, and the deconsolidation of the containers at the destination.
ECU was fined $1 million. The company’s executive vice-president was sentenced to a four month conditional sentence, plus 30 hours of community service, while the vice president was sentenced to a three month conditional sentence, plus 20 hours of community service.
Overseas was fined $675,000.
The Bureau’s investigation began in December 2009 after the Bureau was made aware of the conspiracy through its Immunity program.