B-129911, MAR. 4, 1957

B-129911: Mar 4, 1957

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INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR REQUEST FOR REPAYMENT OF THE SUM OF $108.98. WHICH WAS DEDUCTED FROM AMOUNTS OTHERWISE DUE YOUR COMPANY IN ORDER TO REIMBURSE THE UNITED STATES FOR THE EXCESS CHARGES INCURRED IN OBTAINING DELIVERY OF PROPERTY MOVING UNDER GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WW-9456426. 780 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHICH WAS SHIPPED FROM CHARLOTTE. WAS REPORTEDLY INTERLINED TO YOUR COMPANY AT MEMPHIS TENNESSEE. YOU ARE REPORTED AS HAVING INFORMED THE CONSIGNEE THAT YOU WERE UNABLE TO PERFORM UNPACKING SERVICE ON HOUSEHOLD GOODS DUE TO LACK OF TARIFF PROVISIONS. THE REPORT OF THE CONSIGNEE'S AGENT IS AS FOLLOWS: "ON SATURDAY. THAT WE WOULD HAVE TO GET SOMEONE TO UNPACK IT. AMES CAME BY AND TOLD US THAT ALTHOUGH JONES MADE DAILY DELIVERIES TO EUREKA SPRINGS THEY HAD SO MUCH SCHEDULED THAT THE BEST THEY COULD OFFER WAS TO BRING ONE BOX OF OUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT A TIME.

B-129911, MAR. 4, 1957

TO DIRECTOR OF TRAFFIC, JONES TRUCK LINES, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR REQUEST FOR REPAYMENT OF THE SUM OF $108.98, WHICH WAS DEDUCTED FROM AMOUNTS OTHERWISE DUE YOUR COMPANY IN ORDER TO REIMBURSE THE UNITED STATES FOR THE EXCESS CHARGES INCURRED IN OBTAINING DELIVERY OF PROPERTY MOVING UNDER GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WW-9456426, IN OCTOBER 1953.

THE PROPERTY CONSISTED OF 7,780 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHICH WAS SHIPPED FROM CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, TO EUREKA SPRINGS, ARKANSAS, AND WAS REPORTEDLY INTERLINED TO YOUR COMPANY AT MEMPHIS TENNESSEE. IN YOUR LETTER OF PROTEST, YOU ADVISE THAT UPON ARRIVAL OF THE SHIPMENT AT YOUR SPRINGDALE TERMINAL YOU INFORMED THE CONSIGNEE THAT "* * * IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO DELIVER THIS MERCHANDISE TO THEM ALL AT ONE TIME, DUE TO THE PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITY OF MAKING DELIVERY TO THE POINT OF DELIVERY IN THE TYPE OF EQUIPMENT OPERATED BY OUR COMPANY.' YOU ARE REPORTED AS HAVING INFORMED THE CONSIGNEE THAT YOU WERE UNABLE TO PERFORM UNPACKING SERVICE ON HOUSEHOLD GOODS DUE TO LACK OF TARIFF PROVISIONS, AS YOU DO NOT HOLD OUT TO THE PUBLIC TO PERFORM SUCH SERVICE.

THE REPORT OF THE CONSIGNEE'S AGENT IS AS FOLLOWS:

"ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, ROBERT AMES OF THE JONES TRUCK LINE CALLED AND TOLD US OUR GOODS WOULD BE DELIVERED ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 12, AND THAT WE WOULD HAVE TO GET SOMEONE TO UNPACK IT. WE MOVED INTO AN EMPTY HOUSE AND HIRED 3 MEN TO UNCRATE AND UNPACK. THEY WAITED TWO HOURS UNTIL MR. AMES CAME BY AND TOLD US THAT ALTHOUGH JONES MADE DAILY DELIVERIES TO EUREKA SPRINGS THEY HAD SO MUCH SCHEDULED THAT THE BEST THEY COULD OFFER WAS TO BRING ONE BOX OF OUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT A TIME, WHEN THEY HAD ROOM FOR IT ON THEIR TRUCK. WHEN ASKED THE APPROXIMATE TIME IT WOULD TAKE TO GET IT ALL HERE, THE ANSWER WAS, TWO OR THREE WEEKS, AND SAID IT MIGHT BE A BETTER IDEA TO GET SOMEONE ELSE TO BRING IT OVER.'

IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, APPROPRIATE ARRANGEMENTS WERE MADE BY THE CONSIGNEE'S AGENT WITH ARMY AUTHORITIES TO OBTAIN DRAYAGE AND UNPACKING SERVICES FROM ANOTHER CARRIER AND THE PROPERTY WAS DELIVERED TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13. IN THE SETTLEMENT OF YOUR ACCOUNT HERE ONLY THE DRAYAGE CHARGE WAS DEDUCTED. THE CHARGE FOR UNPACKING AND SETTING UP WAS NOT CONSIDERED IN THE ADJUSTMENT WITH YOUR COMPANY.

UNDER APPLICABLE LAW AND APPROPRIATE ARMY REGULATIONS, THE UNITED STATES WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THIS PROPERTY FROM CHARLOTTE TO EUREKA SPRINGS. PURSUANT TO THAT RESPONSIBILITY, A BILL OF LADING CONTRACT WAS ENTERED INTO BY THE UNITED STATES WITH TENNESSEE CAROLINA TRANSPORTATION, INC., AND ITS CONNECTING LINES, WHEREBY IT WAS AGREED THAT THE PROPERTY WOULD BE TRANSPORTED TO EUREKA SPRINGS AND THERE DELIVERED TO THE CONSIGNEE. UNDER THIS CONTRACT, THE CARRIERS CONCERNED WERE OBLIGATED TO TRANSPORT THE GOODS WITH REASONABLE DISPATCH AND TO MAKE DELIVERY OF THE PROPERTY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME. WHILE A COMMON CARRIER IS NOT OBLIGATED TO FURNISH EQUIPMENT OTHER THAN THAT NORMALLY USED IN ITS OPERATIONS, IT IS DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND A LACK OF OPERATING EQUIPMENT BY A COMPANY OF THE SIZE OF YOURS THAT WOULD PREVENT THE EXPEDITIOUS DELIVERY OF A LESS-THAN-TRUCKLOAD SHIPMENT WEIGHING 7,780 POUNDS. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE WHEN IT IS CONSIDERED THAT THE CARRIER WHICH ACTUALLY MADE THE DELIVERY DID SO THE DAY AFTER IT WAS ENGAGED AND APPARENTLY WITHOUT DIFFICULTY.

UPON CONSIDERATION OF THIS ENTIRE RECORD, WE CONCLUDE THAT YOUR OFFER OF DELIVERY OF THIS PROPERTY WAS MADE FOR YOUR OWN CONVENIENCE, WAS UNREASONABLE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND WAS A BREACH OF YOUR CONTRACTUAL DUTY TO DELIVER THE PROPERTY WITH REASONABLE DISPATCH. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE ARRANGEMENT FOR OBTAINING SATISFACTORY DELIVERY WAS PROPER AND THE EXCESS CHARGED SO INCURRED, THE DRAYAGE COST FROM SPRINGDALE TO EUREKA SPRINGS, WAS A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST YOUR COMPANY. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR REQUEST FOR REFUND IS DECLINED.