DHL has agreed a $53 million settlement with a group of US shippers alleging that several global freight forwarders conspired to fix charges in contravention of the US Sherman Antitrust Act.

The development is the latest in a long-running class action case brought by 11 shippers, including Kraft Chemical Co, Zeta Pharmaceuticals and Precision Associates, in 2008, alleging that forwarders held “conspiratorial meetings”, made phone calls and sent emails to fix prices and inflate rates and surcharges.

Schenker, Vantec, EGL, Expeditors, Nishi-Nippon, UAC, Kuehne + Nagel, Morrison, UTi and ABX settled with the aggrieved shippers in August 2013. A second set of settlements involving 11 more defendants – SDV, Panalpina, Geodis, DSV, Jet Speed, Toll Group, Agility, UPS, Dachser, and a large group of so-called “Japanese Defendants”, including DHL’s Japanese operations – was approved in a New York court in November.

Several airlines have not settled – Air China Cargo, Air India, Air New Zealand and Atlas/Polar Air – and face trial later this month after failing to convince the court to end the class action lawsuit against them. The plaintiffs seek “billions of dollars” in compensation, according to law firm Hausfeld.