B-116175, JUN. 4, 1957

B-116175: Jun 4, 1957

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ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF OUR DECISION OF MAY 24. YOU WERE ALLOWED CHARGES COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF A CLASS-40 RATING. ON THE BASIS THAT THE SHIPMENTS THERE INVOLVED WERE PACKED FOR OVERSEAS SHIPMENT. WHEREAS IN THE INSTANT MATTER YOU ARE INFORMED THAT THESE SHIPMENTS COMPRISED COMPLETE AUTOMOBILES. WERE KNOCKED DOWN AND PACKED IN BOXES. IN THE HARRISON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY CASE THE "TWIN-UNIT" METHOD WAS FOLLOWED IN ORIGINALLY PACKING THE VEHICLES FOR OVERSEAS SHIPMENT. THE ACTUAL WEIGHT WAS OVER 79. IN THE GRAFTON COAL COMPANY CASE "EACH VEHICLE WAS PACKED IN A HEAVY REINFORCED WOODEN CASE LINED WITH WATERPROOF MATERIAL. " AND TWO BOXES WERE LOADED ON EACH OPEN-TOP CAR.

B-116175, JUN. 4, 1957

TO MR. E. MECH, ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF OUR DECISION OF MAY 24, 1955, RELATIVE TO THE CHARGES FOUND ALLOWABLE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF SHIPMENTS OF BOXED OR CRATED 2 1/2-TON FREIGHT AUTOMOBILES FROM ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, TO SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, IN MAY AND JUNE 1945. FOR THIS TRANSPORTATION YOU ORIGINALLY CLAIMED CHARGES ON THE BASIS OF A COMMODITY RATE OF 20 CENTS PER 100 POUNDS, APPLICABLE ON SET-UP FREIGHT VEHICLES. THEREAFTER, YOU CLAIMED $2,097.39 ADDITIONAL, COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF A SECOND-CLASS RATING AND RATE OF 52 CENTS PER 100 POUNDS, AS FOR KNOCKED-DOWN VEHICLES, BOXED OR CRATED. IN OUR DECISION OF MAY 24, 1955, YOU WERE ALLOWED CHARGES COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF A CLASS-40 RATING, BEING THE BASIS FOUND REASONABLE BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION WITH RESPECT TO MOTOR VEHICLES, AUTOMOBILE CHASSIS, KNOCKED DOWN, IN THE CASES OF THE HARRISON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY V. PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY, 280 I.C.C. 279, AND GRAFTON COAL COMPANY V. BALTIMORE AND OHIO RAILROAD COMPANY, 280, I.C.C. 435.

IN YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION YOU MAINTAIN THAT THE PROPER CHARGES SHOULD BE BASED ON A SECOND-CLASS RATE ON THESE SHIPMENTS OF KNOCKED-DOWN VEHICLES, WHICH, EXCLUSIVE OF DUNNAGE, WEIGHED 53,760 POUNDS AND 57,200 POUNDS PER CAR. YOU ATTEMPT TO DISTINGUISH THESE SHIPMENTS FROM THOSE IN THE HARRISON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY CASE, ON THE BASIS THAT THE SHIPMENTS THERE INVOLVED WERE PACKED FOR OVERSEAS SHIPMENT, EACH STEEL-STRAPPED WOODEN BOX OR CASE CONTAINING PARTS OF TWO VEHICLES, AND LOADED IN OPEN TOP CARS, WHEREAS IN THE INSTANT MATTER YOU ARE INFORMED THAT THESE SHIPMENTS COMPRISED COMPLETE AUTOMOBILES, KNOCKED DOWN IN BOXES. YOU REFER ALSO TO THE WAR MATERIALS REPARATION CASES (CRATED AUTOMOBILES TO SOUTHERN PORTS), 294 I.C.C. 5, 61, AS BEING INCONSISTENT WITH OUR POSITION ON THESE SHIPMENTS.

THE VEHICLES IN BOTH THE HARRISON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY AND THE GRAFTON COAL COMPANY CASES, WERE KNOCKED DOWN AND PACKED IN BOXES. IN THE HARRISON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY CASE THE "TWIN-UNIT" METHOD WAS FOLLOWED IN ORIGINALLY PACKING THE VEHICLES FOR OVERSEAS SHIPMENT, EACH STEEL-STRAPPED WOODEN BOX OR CASE CONTAINING PARTS FOR TWO VEHICLES. THE ACTUAL WEIGHT WAS OVER 79,000 POUNDS PER SHIPMENT. IN THE GRAFTON COAL COMPANY CASE "EACH VEHICLE WAS PACKED IN A HEAVY REINFORCED WOODEN CASE LINED WITH WATERPROOF MATERIAL," AND TWO BOXES WERE LOADED ON EACH OPEN-TOP CAR. EACH CAR WEIGHED 43,830 POUNDS. THE DECISIONS OF THE COMMISSION DECLARING UNREASONABLE THE THIRD-CLASS RATES COLLECTED ON THE SHIPMENTS IN THE NAMED CASES ARE APPARENTLY BASED UPON THE FACT THAT THE METHOD OF PACKING PERMITTED THE CARS TO BE LOADED GREATLY IN EXCESS OF THE CARLOAD MINIMUM WEIGHT AND REQUIRED CONSIDERABLY LESS EQUIPMENT THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN NEEDED FOR ORDINARY SHIPMENTS. IT IS NOT SO INDICATED IN THE DECISION, NOR IS IT APPARENT OTHERWISE, THAT ANY DISTINCTION IS PROPERLY TO BE ATTACHED TO THE FACT THAT SOME OF THE BOXES THERE CONCERNED CONTAINED PARTS OF TWO VEHICLES, WHEREAS HERE THERE IS NO SUCH INDICATION OF SUCH METHOD OF PACKING HAVING BEEN EMPLOYED.

THE COMMISSION STATED IN THE HARRISON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY CASE THAT "WHERE, AS HERE, THE FACTS DISCLOSED INDICATE THE RATE CHARGED WAS NEVER INTENDED FOR APPLICATION ON THE SHIPMENTS CONSIDERED, AND THAT THE GENERAL BASIS FOR MOTOR FREIGHT VEHICLES, OR PARTS THEREOF, SUBJECT TO A MINIMUM OF 24,000 POUNDS OR MORE, WAS AND IS 40 PERCENT OF FIRST CLASS (46 CENTS) OR LOWER, IT IS PLAIN THAT THE RATE COLLECTED IS SO EXCESSIVE AS TO BE UNREASONABLE FOR ANY VOLUME OF THIS PARTICULAR TRAFFIC.' THE COMMISSION STATED FURTHER THAT "EXCEPTING COMMODITIES OF EXTRAORDINARY VALUE, SECOND- CLASS RATES ARE NOT ORDINARILY REASONABLE FOR APPLICATION ON CARLOAD FREIGHT LOADING 24,000 POUNDS OR MORE IN STANDARD CARS.' IN THE GRAFTON COAL COMPANY CASE, WHERE EACH OF THE VEHICLES WAS PARTIALLY KNOCKED DOWN AND BOXED, AND EACH SHIPMENT WEIGHED 43,830 POUNDS, THE COMMISSION REFERRED TO THE HARRISON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY CASE AND FOUND THAT THE THIRD-CLASS RATE COLLECTED BY THE CARRIERS WAS UNREASONABLE TO THE EXTENT IT EXCEEDED THE CLASS-40 RATE.

FOR A MORE RECENT CASE WHICH SUPPORTS THE CONCLUSION THAT THE CHARGES IN THIS INSTANCE SHOULD NOT EXCEED THOSE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF A CLASS-40 RATING AND RATE, AS ALLOWED, SEE UNITED STATES V. GUY A. THOMPSON, TRUSTEE, THE BEAUMONT, SOUR LAKE AND WESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY, INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION DOCKET 31953, DECIDED DECEMBER 7, 1956. IN THAT CASE THE EXPORT SHIPMENTS OF KNOCKED-DOWN FREIGHT MOTOR VEHICLE CHASSIS AVERAGED ABOUT 41,000 POUNDS. AS NOTED, IN THE INSTANT CASE THE SHIPMENTS WEIGHED AT LEAST 53,760 POUNDS, OR ALMOST 13,000 POUNDS MORE THAN THOSE IN THE BEAUMONT, SOUR LAKE AND WESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY CASE. WHILE THAT DECISION IS UNDERSTOOD TO HAVE BEEN THE SUBJECT TO A REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION, SUCH REQUEST APPARENTLY WAS BASED PRIMARILY UPON A CONTENTION THAT THE QUESTION OF REASONABLENESS WAS CONCERNED ONLY WITH ONE FACTOR OF A COMBINATION OF RATES INVOLVED.

DOCKET 29572 OF THE WAR MATERIALS REPARATION CASES CONCERNED SHIPMENTS OF SET-UP AUTOMOBILES IN PARTIALLY SHEATHED CRATES FOR EXPORT AND THE COMPLAINANT ATTACHED COMMODITY DESCRIPTIONS WHICH RESTRICTED THE AVAILABILITY OF A REDUCED RATE TO AUTOMOBILES SHIPPED IN A SOLID WOODEN BOX ,SOMETIMES CALLED A FULLY SHEATHED CRATE.' THAT CASE IS NOT PERTINENT TO THE PRESENT MATTER.

THE SITUATION THUS REDUCES ITSELF TO ONE IN WHICH THERE WAS AVAILABLE A TARIFF RATE OF 20 CENTS PER 100 POUNDS ON AUTOMOBILES, SET UP, BETWEEN THE POINTS HERE CONCERNED; YOU ORIGINALLY CLAIMED AND WERE PAID CHARGES ON THE BASIS OF THAT RATE, BUT NOW DEMAND PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL CHARGES ON THE BASIS OF A SECOND-CLASS RATE OF 52 CENTS PER 100 POUNDS, MINIMUM 12,000 POUNDS, BECAUSE THE SHIPMENTS WERE LATER SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN KNOCKED DOWN TO SOME EXTENT, AND NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE ACTUAL WEIGHTS WERE IN EXCESS OF 50,000 POUNDS PER CAR. CLEARLY, IN VIEW OF THE HEAVY LOADING AND THE ABSENCE OF ANY SHOWING OF EXTRAORDINARY VALUE, PAYMENT OF CHARGES ON THE BASIS OF THE SECOND CLASS RATE CLAIMED WOULD BE CONTRARY TO THE STATEMENT QUOTED ABOVE FROM THE HARRISON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY CASE AND WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED. NO OTHER BASIS APPEARS APPLICABLE AND RECOURSE TO THE BASIS FOUND REASONABLE IN THE HARRISON CONSTRUCTION COMPANY AND THE GRAFTON COAL COMPANY CASES, BECOMES NECESSARY.

ACCORDINGLY, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS CASE, WE WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED IN AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR CHARGES IN EXCESS OF THE CLASS-40 BASIS, AND OUR PREVIOUS CONCLUSION WHICH GIVES EFFECT TO SUCH BASIS IS REAFFIRMED.