B-140044, AUG. 20, 1959

B-140044: Aug 20, 1959

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LOUIS-SAN FRANCISCO RAILWAY COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 23. THE TWO SHIPMENTS IN QUESTION MOVED ON GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING AND ARE DESCRIBED AS "PALLETS (350) ELEVATING. WAS ACCEPTED FOR TRANSPORTATION AT MAGRUDER. WAS DELIVERED TO PENSACOLA. FOR THIS SERVICE YOU ORIGINALLY BILLED AND WERE PAID CHARGES OF $413.31 FOR EACH SHIPMENT. IN OUR AUDIT OF THE PAYMENT VOUCHER THE CORRECT CHARGES WERE DETERMINED TO BE $150.40 FOR EACH CAR. THE RESULTING OVERCHARGES OF $262.91 (TOTAL $525.82) PER CAR WERE COLLECTED BY DEDUCTION FROM AMOUNTS OTHERWISE DUE YOUR COMPANY. THESE CHARGES WERE COMPUTED ON THE COMMODITY RATE BASIS NAMED IN ITEM 111 OF SOUTHERN FREIGHT TARIFF BUREAU TARIFF 740-B.

B-140044, AUG. 20, 1959

ST. LOUIS-SAN FRANCISCO RAILWAY COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 23, 1959, FILE 6298-BJD- 54190-A, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST A REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE DATED JUNE 2, 1959, IN CLAIM NO. TK-649772, DISALLOWING YOUR SUPPLEMENTAL BILL NO. D-54190-A, IN THE AMOUNT OF $304.28.

THE TWO SHIPMENTS IN QUESTION MOVED ON GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING AND ARE DESCRIBED AS "PALLETS (350) ELEVATING, FOR LIFT TRUCKS, ENCLOSURES, WITHOUT BODIES, STANDING ENDS, SIDES.' EACH SHIPMENT WEIGHED 39,550 POUNDS, WAS ACCEPTED FOR TRANSPORTATION AT MAGRUDER, VIRGINIA, ON SEPTEMBER 12, 1945, AND WAS DELIVERED TO PENSACOLA, FLORIDA. FOR THIS SERVICE YOU ORIGINALLY BILLED AND WERE PAID CHARGES OF $413.31 FOR EACH SHIPMENT, BASED ON A FOURTH-CLASS RATE OF $1.27 PER 100 POUNDS (LESS LAND- GRANT DEDUCTIONS), ON THE AUTHORITY OF ITEM 42640, CONSOLIDATED FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION NO. 16, AND SOUTHERN FREIGHT TARIFF BUREAU TARIFF 718.

IN OUR AUDIT OF THE PAYMENT VOUCHER THE CORRECT CHARGES WERE DETERMINED TO BE $150.40 FOR EACH CAR. THE RESULTING OVERCHARGES OF $262.91 (TOTAL $525.82) PER CAR WERE COLLECTED BY DEDUCTION FROM AMOUNTS OTHERWISE DUE YOUR COMPANY. THESE CHARGES WERE COMPUTED ON THE COMMODITY RATE BASIS NAMED IN ITEM 111 OF SOUTHERN FREIGHT TARIFF BUREAU TARIFF 740-B, I.C.C. NO. 728. ITEM 111 PROVIDES:

"PLATFORMS (PALLETS), WAREHOUSE OR SHIPPING, WOODEN, SET UP, CONSTRUCTED OF TWO OR THREE WOODEN RIBS, SUCH AS 2X4-S, WITH BOARDS OR SLATS NAILED OR SCREWED TO TWO OPPOSITE SURFACES OF THE RIBS, CL, MIN WT36,000 POUNDS

"WHERE THE RATE ON LUMBER IS AS SHOWN IN COLUMN A OF ITEM 135, APPLY THE RATE OPPOSITE THERETO UNDER COLUMN F OF ITEM 135.'

THE PALLETS INVOLVED IN THE PRESENT CASE SEEM TO BE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF ITEM 111, AND, THEREFORE, THE APPLICABLE RATE AT THE TIME OF THE MOVEMENT WAS THE COMMODITY RATE NAMED IN SOUTHERN FREIGHT TARIFF BUREAU TARIFF 740- B.

IN THE WAR MATERIALS REPARATION CASES, 294 I.C.C. 5, IN DOCKET NO. 29926, BEGINNING AT PAGE 122, THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION CONSIDERED THE RATES ON WOODEN PALLETS. IN THAT CASE THE COMMISSION FOUND THAT ON JANUARY 1, 1942, PALLETS WERE RATED FIFTH CLASS IN THE OFFICIAL AND WESTERN CLASSIFICATION, AND SIXTH CLASS IN THE SOUTHERN CLASSIFICATION, WITH A CARLOAD MINIMUM WEIGHT OF 30,000 POUNDS UNDER THE DESCRIPTION OF "VEHICLE PARTS: ELEVATING TRUCK PLATFORMS OR SKIDS FOR LIFT TRUCKS.' THIS ITEM WAS CANCELLED EFFECTIVE JANUARY 12, 1946, BY SUPPLEMENT NO. 37 TO CONSOLIDATED FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION NO. 16, WHEN ALL TYPES OF PALLETS OR PLATFORMS WERE SPECIFICALLY RATED UNDER THE GENERIC HEADING OF "PALLETS.' THE SHIPMENTS HERE INVOLVED MOVED DURING SEPTEMBER 1945, IN SOUTHERN TERRITORY. IN THE ABOVE-CITED CASE, AT PAGE 126, THE COMMISSION SAID: "EFFECTIVE AUGUST 7, 1942, WITHIN SOUTHERN TERRITORY * * * DEFENDANTS ESTABLISHED COMMODITY RATES ON WOODEN PALLETS, CARLOADS, WHICH VARIED FROM 5 1/2 TO 9 CENTS OVER THE LUMBER RATES.'

WHILE IN DOCKET 29926 THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION FOUND THAT THE CLASS RATES ON PALLETS WERE NOT SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN UNJUST AND UNREASONABLE, THEY ALSO POINTED OUT THAT COMMODITY RATES WERE ESTABLISHED FOR THESE PALLETS, AT VARIOUS TIMES BETWEEN 1942 AND 1946, USING THE LUMBER RATE AS A BASIS. IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY COMMODITY RATE IT WOULD SEEM FROM THE FOREGOING THAT THE SIXTH-CLASS RATE WOULD HAVE BEEN PROPER FOR APPLICATION ON THE SUBJECT SHIPMENTS. HOWEVER, THE COMMODITY RATE WAS AVAILABLE IN THE PRESENT INSTANCE AND IT TOOK PRECEDENCE OVER THE CLASS RATE. SALAWITCH AUTO PARTS CO. V. BALTIMORE AND OHIO R.CO., 284 I.C.C. 703, 705; BLOCKSON CHEMICAL CO. V. ATCHISON, T. AND S.F.RY.CO., 296 I.C.C. 5, 9.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE OUR SETTLEMENT HAS NOT BEEN SHOWN TO BE IN ERROR, IT IS SUSTAINED.