B-126709, SEP. 18, 1956

B-126709: Sep 18, 1956

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TO CENTRAL OF GEORGIA RAILWAY COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER. YOU ASSERT THAT THE PRESENT CLAIM SHOULD BE ALLOWED SINCE THE ISSUE IN QUESTION IS NO DIFFERENT FROM THAT INVOLVED IN CLAIM TK-481371. WHICH WAS ALLOWED BY OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION IN SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE NO. THAT CLAIM WAS DECIDED IN YOUR FAVOR AFTER AN INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE SHIPMENTS THERE INVOLVED CONSISTED OF L L/2 TON FORD TRUCK CHASSIS. - THAT PARTS OR PIECES CONSTITUTING A COMPLETE ARTICLE WILL BE CHARGED AT A RATING OR RATE PROVIDED FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE. - WAS DETERMINED TO BE APPLICABLE. 2 1/2 TON 6 BY 6 SWB GMC M 37 GUN MOUNTS WO/W TOP BOXED FOR EXPORT NO BODIES ALL VEHICLES ON TR 57335 ARE TO BE UNBOXED.

B-126709, SEP. 18, 1956

TO CENTRAL OF GEORGIA RAILWAY COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER, PER FILE N-22073-G, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM, PER SUPPLEMENTAL BILL NO. N-5-22073-A-G-R-971-10, FOR $3,368.70, REPRESENTING ADDITIONAL CHARGES ALLEGED TO BE DUE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF MOTOR FREIGHT VEHICLES FROM ROSSFORD ORDNANCE DEPOT, TOLEDO, OHIO, TO FORT BENNING, GEORGIA, DURING AUGUST 1943.

IN YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW, YOU ASSERT THAT THE PRESENT CLAIM SHOULD BE ALLOWED SINCE THE ISSUE IN QUESTION IS NO DIFFERENT FROM THAT INVOLVED IN CLAIM TK-481371, SUPPLEMENTAL BILL NO. N-5-22492-B-G-R-1011 10, WHICH WAS ALLOWED BY OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION IN SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE NO. T- 619448, DATED DECEMBER 3, 1954. HOWEVER, THAT CLAIM WAS DECIDED IN YOUR FAVOR AFTER AN INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE SHIPMENTS THERE INVOLVED CONSISTED OF L L/2 TON FORD TRUCK CHASSIS, KNOCKED DOWN, WITH STEEL AUTO BODY PARTS, SET UP, THUS CONSTITUTING PARTS AND PIECES OF A COMPLETE FREIGHT TRUCK. THEREFORE, RULE 19 OF CONSOLIDATED FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION NO. 15--- THAT ARTICLES MUST BE TAKEN APART IN SUCH A MANNER AS TO MATERIALLY REDUCE THE SPACE OCCUPIED BEFORE KNOCKED DOWN RATINGS APPLY--- HAD NOT BEEN COMPLIED WITH AND RULE 20--- THAT PARTS OR PIECES CONSTITUTING A COMPLETE ARTICLE WILL BE CHARGED AT A RATING OR RATE PROVIDED FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE--- WAS DETERMINED TO BE APPLICABLE.

IN THE PRESENT CLAIM, THE GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING COVERING THE SHIPMENTS DESCRIBE THE COMMODITY AS:

MOTOR FREIGHT VEHICLES, 2 1/2 TON 6 BY 6

SWB GMC M 37 GUN MOUNTS WO/W

TOP BOXED FOR EXPORT

NO BODIES

ALL VEHICLES ON TR 57335 ARE TO BE

UNBOXED, REPROCESSED AND SET UP ON WHEELS.

THE WORDS "TOP BOXED FOR EXPORT, NO BODIES" MEAN "TWIN UNIT PACKED" OR, IN OTHER WORDS, THE SHIPMENTS CONSISTED OF KNOCKED DOWN CHASSIS AND CABS ONLY, NOT COMPLETE VEHICLES. THEREFORE, RULE 19 OF THE CLASSIFICATION WAS CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN COMPLIED WITH AND THE MAXIMUM REASONABLE RATE WAS DETERMINED TO BE 40 PERCENT OF THE FIRST CLASS RATE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DECISIONS RENDERED IN HARRISON CONSTRUCTION CO. V. PENNSYLVANIA R. CO., 280 I.C.C. 279, AND GRAFTON COAL CO. V. B. AND O.R. CO., 280 I.C.C. 435.

IN THE HARRISON CASE THE COMMISSION HAD BEFORE IT THE QUESTION OF THE PROPER RATE TO APPLY ON FIVE CARLOADS OF 2 1/2-TON FREIGHT CHASSIS, KNOCKED DOWN, BOXED, WHICH HAD BEEN SOLD BY THE WAR ASSETS ADMINISTRATION AS SURPLUS WAR DEPARTMENT VEHICLES AND WERE SHIPPED BY THE COMPLAINANT, WHO PAID THE FREIGHT CHARGES BASED ON THE THIRD-CLASS RATE. AFTER DISCUSSING THE LOADING CHARACTERISTICS OF VEHICLES SO KNOCKED-DOWN AND PACKED, AS COMPARED WITH THE TRANSPORTATION CHARACTERISTICS OF CERTAIN TYPES OF AUTOMOBILES AND AUTOMOBILE PARTS HAVING LOWER RATINGS AND HIGHER MINIMUM WEIGHTS, THE COMMISSION FOUND THAT THE RATING WAS DESIGNED FOR APPLICATION ON RELATIVELY LIGHT LOADING FREIGHT CHASSIS TRANSPORTED IN A LARGELY SET-UP CONDITION FROM THE POINT OF MANUFACTURE TO THE POINT OF ASSEMBLY. THE COMMISSION THEN STATED, AT PAGES 283 AND 284, THAT---

"IT IS CLEAR FROM THE FOREGOING THAT THE THIRD-CLASS RATING ON AUTOMOBILE CHASSIS, KNOCKED DOWN, WAS NEVER INTENDED TO APPLY ON CHASSIS TAKEN APART AND COMPACTLY BOXED OR CRATED AS WERE THESE SHIPMENTS. * * *. THESE VEHICLES WERE DESIGNED AND PACKED FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS AND WERE COMPACTLY AND SECURELY BOXED TO CONSERVE CARGO SPACE IN OCEAN-GOING VESSELS AND IN STORAGE, TO WITHSTAND THE HAZARDS OF OVERSEAS SHIPPING, AND TO EFFECT A REDUCTION IN TRANSPORTATION CHARGES.

"* * * WHERE, AS HERE, THE FACTS DISCLOSED INDICATE THAT 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 * * * OR LOWER, IT IS PLAIN THAT THE RATE COLLECTED IS SO EXCESSIVE AS BE UNREASONABLE FOR ANY VOLUME OF THIS PARTICULAR TRAFFIC.'

THE COMMISSION THEREFORE HELD THAT THE CHARGES PAID WERE UNREASONABLE TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY EXCEEDED CHARGES COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE CLASS- 40 RATE AND AWARDED REPARATION, WITH INTEREST, TO THAT BASIS.

IN THE GRAFTON CASE THE VEHICLES INVOLVED WERE CHASSIS FOR 10-TON 6 BY 4 TRUCKS AND WERE KNOCKED DOWN ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THE WHEELS, CABS, AND FENDERS HAD BEEN REMOVED. EACH VEHICLE WAS PACKED IN A HEAVY WOODEN CASE. THE WEIGHT OF EACH VEHICLE, AS BOXED, WAS 21,915 POUNDS, AND 2 BOXES WERE LOADED ON EACH OF FIVE OPEN CARS 41 FEET OR LESS IN LENGTH. THIS CONNECTION, THE COMMISSION STATED, AT PAGE 438 THAT---

"WE THERE (IN THE HARRISON CASE) FOUND IT WAS BECAUSE OF THE METHOD OF PACKING THAT THE CARS USED COULD BE AND WERE LOADED GREATLY IN EXCESS OF THE ESTABLISHED MINIMUM WEIGHT (15,000 POUNDS ON CHASSIS, KNOCKED DOWN); THAT THE RATE CHARGED WAS NEVER INTENDED FOR APPLICATION ON SUCH SHIPMENTS; AND THAT THE RATE COLLECTED (THIRD CLASS) WAS SO EXCESSIVE AS TO BE UNREASONABLE FOR ANY VOLUME OF THE TRAFFIC CONSIDERED. WE AWARDED REPARATION TO THE BASIS OF THE CLASS 40 RATE. SIMILAR TREATMENT IS WARRANTED HERE.'

SINCE THE ACTION OF OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION IN THE SETTLEMENT OF YOUR CLAIM WAS CONSISTENT WITH THE FINDINGS IN THE HARRISON AND GRAFTON CASES, IT IS SUSTAINED.