CAA execs dismiss ‘outrageous’ allegations about D.C. harbor freight, freight cdr
CAA, the world’s biggest travel agency, said Tuesday that it has “no further comment” on allegations that it paid more than $100,000 for cargo services to haul freight from New York City to Los Angeles via the Port of Los Angeles International Airport.
The agency’s board of directors on Tuesday approved the $1.5 million payment to a Florida-based company called Cargo Transport LLC.
CAA declined to disclose the name of the company.
The payment was part of a $1 billion deal between CAA and the Port, which in turn bought cargo transport services from Cargo Transport in 2013.
A spokeswoman for CAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Port of LA declined to comment.
A CAA spokeswoman declined to provide additional information about the allegations.
The company said in a statement that it “stands by its contractual obligations and is confident that the contract is in compliance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations.”
The statement did not address whether the company paid for any cargo services.
The deal between the Port and Cargo Transport was struck in July 2015 and ended in late 2016.
According to a federal lawsuit filed in federal court, CAA paid $8.6 million in fees for cargo transport and $2.8 million in taxes for cargo handling.
The lawsuit alleges that the Port was “misleading and deceptive” about its cargo handling services to the port and that the company was not in compliance.
The contract between the two companies expired in late 2017, and CAA said the company no longer had the right to deliver freight from the Port to Los Angelenos.
The suit was filed by the Center for Media and Democracy, a watchdog group.
A spokesman for the Port said the Port has no comment on pending litigation.
The complaint was filed in a federal court in Los Angeles on behalf of the Port on behalf by the Southern California Environmental Justice Network, an environmental group that has been fighting for a change in the port’s cargo handling policies.
“The Port’s failure to properly enforce its cargo loading and transportation contracts with the company is unconscionable and damages the Port’s reputation and the economy of Southern California,” the suit says.
The Center for Business and Economic Research, a San Diego-based think tank, filed a similar lawsuit against the Port in December 2016, claiming that the port “has been mismanaging and abusing its cargo contract to benefit the Port at the expense of the region.”
CBA, which has more than 50,000 employees and has more work with airlines than any other agency in the U.S., has been accused in the past of paying off the port for shipping goods to countries where the company’s employees work.
A 2016 report from the nonprofit Taxpayers for Common Sense found that CBA had received more than a $3.5 billion subsidy over the last five years.
The Washington Post first reported the allegations against CAA in July.
The Post reported on Monday that CAA has denied the allegations and said it is cooperating with federal and local authorities.
The allegations were first reported by The Washington Times.
Follow Jonathan Oosting on Twitter at @jonathanosting.