B-144088, JAN. 26, 1961

B-144088: Jan 26, 1961

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TO CAROLINA FREIGHT CARRIERS CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 22. YOU ORIGINALLY CLAIMED AND WERE PAID $732. THE PROPER CHARGE WAS DETERMINED TO BE $512.20. AN APPROPRIATE DEDUCTION WAS MADE FROM AMOUNTS OTHERWISE DUE ON A CURRENT BILL. SUCH ACTION WAS PREDICATED ON THE DECISION OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION IN CURTIS LIGHTING. SINCE OUR RECORD REFLECTS THAT THE VEHICLE USED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE INVOLVED SHIPMENT WAS LOADED TO CAPACITY. THE VEHICLE WAS LOADED TO CAPACITY. ONE OF THE VEHICLES SHOWN AS HAVING BEEN LOADED TO CAPACITY WAS SEALED. THE COMPLAINANT IN THAT CASE ASKED FOR REPARATION ON THE GROUNDS THAT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF VEHICLE RATE AND CHARGES WERE UNJUST.

B-144088, JAN. 26, 1961

TO CAROLINA FREIGHT CARRIERS CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 22, 1960, IN WHICH YOU REQUESTED A REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM NO. 058-293 FOR AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $219.80 FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF MISCELLANEOUS FREIGHT FROM NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, TO KEY WEST, FLORIDA, UNDER GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING NO. N-8285463, IN AUGUST 1956.

FOR THE TRANSPORTATION SERVICE INVOLVED, YOU ORIGINALLY CLAIMED AND WERE PAID $732, COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF A FIRST-CLASS RATE OF $4.88, APPLIED TO A MINIMUM WEIGHT OF 15,000 POUNDS, AS FOR EXCLUSIVE USE OF VEHICLE SERVICE. IN THE AUDIT OF THE PAYMENT VOUCHER BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, THE PROPER CHARGE WAS DETERMINED TO BE $512.20, COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF A TRUCKLOAD RATE OF $1.97 PER 100 POUNDS, USING THE MINIMUM WEIGHT OF 26,000 POUNDS. UPON YOUR FAILURE TO REFUND THE OVERPAYMENT OF $219.80 ($732 LESS $512.20), AN APPROPRIATE DEDUCTION WAS MADE FROM AMOUNTS OTHERWISE DUE ON A CURRENT BILL. SUCH ACTION WAS PREDICATED ON THE DECISION OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION IN CURTIS LIGHTING, INC. V. MID-STATES FREIGHT LINES, INC., 303 I.C.C. 576, SINCE OUR RECORD REFLECTS THAT THE VEHICLE USED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE INVOLVED SHIPMENT WAS LOADED TO CAPACITY. THE PERTINENT BILL OF LADING CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING NOTATION:

"* * * "TRUCKLOAD MINIMUM WT. 26,000 LBS. APPLICABLE.' LOADED TO CAPACITY * * *"

IN THE CURTIS LIGHTING CASE, AS HERE, THE VEHICLE WAS LOADED TO CAPACITY. THE ORIGINAL FREIGHT BILL THERE INVOLVED BORE A NOTATION TO THE EFFECT THAT EXCLUSIVE USE OF A TRAILER HAD BEEN REQUESTED, AND ONE OF THE VEHICLES SHOWN AS HAVING BEEN LOADED TO CAPACITY WAS SEALED. ON THE SEALED VEHICLE MID-STATES FREIGHT LINES BILLED ON THE BASIS OF EXCLUSIVE USE SERVICE. THE COMPLAINANT IN THAT CASE ASKED FOR REPARATION ON THE GROUNDS THAT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF VEHICLE RATE AND CHARGES WERE UNJUST, UNREASONABLE, AND OTHERWISE UNLAWFUL IN VIOLATION OF SECTIONS 216 (D) AND 217 (B) OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT (49 U.S.C. 316 (D), 317 (B) ). THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION SAID WHETHER OR NOT THE COMPLAINANT REQUESTED EXCLUSIVE USE, SUCH SERVICE WAS NOT RENDERED, AND THAT ONCE A VEHICLE IS LOADED TO CAPACITY, A SHIPPER DERIVES NO BENEFIT FROM EXCLUSIVE USE, WHICH IS DESIGNED TO ACCORD TRUCKLOAD SERVICE TO LESS-THAN-TRUCKLOAD SHIPMENTS. IT WAS THEREFORE FOUND THAT THE APPLICABLE RATE WAS THE TRUCKLOAD RATE.

IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE COMMISSION'S HOLDING IN THE CURTIS LIGHTING CASE IS CONTROLLING IN THE DISPOSITION OF THE INSTANT MATTER. SINCE THE SETTLEMENT ACTION TAKEN BY OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION IS CONSISTENT WITH THE RULING IN THAT CASE, IT IS CORRECT AND IS ACCORDINGLY SUSTAINED.