In the past few years, AFMS, a transportation consultancy based in Oregon, has made several allegations against UPS and FedEx. These allegations have all centered on what AFMS believes was an illegal collusion in the marketplace between these two companies. Yet, the exact nature of their allegations has been revised over time and now courts have finally agreed to hear their case.
AFMS’s claims stem from an industry conference back in 2009. At this conference, UPS and FedEx both announced within a short period of time that they would no longer allow the use of 3rd party shipping consultants in negotiations withcustomers. AFMS viewed this as an attempt to monopolize the market and a clear example of collusion, since enacting this new policy simultaneously essentially prevented both UPS and FedEx from losing customers to one another.
UPS and FedEx argue another case however, stating that both had individually planned on enacting this policy with no knowledge of the other’s actions. UPS believes that this new policy is best for both UPS and their customers, arguing that their own consultants have a much deeper understanding of their systems and would therefore be able to offer customers the best possible discounts.
On the other hand, AFMS believes that only being able to use direct consultants allows UPS and FedEx to withhold valuable information and increase their profits at the cost of their customers. AFMS says that these actions taken by UPS and FedEx violate the Sherman Antitrust Act, and they believe that this damages both of these companies relationships with customers and their credibility.
Either way, both parties have stated that they are ready to meet in court. The precedent that results from this case will most likely affect the future activities of all parties and thereby affect the field of logistics.