B-149412, SEPTEMBER 11, 1962, 42 COMP. GEN. 160

B-149412: Sep 11, 1962

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TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - DELIVERY IMPOSSIBILITY - PAYMENT BASIS CHARGES FOR CARTAGE AND ACCESSORIAL SERVICES FURNISHED ON AN INTRA STATE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHICH HAD BEEN DESTROYED BY FIRE AT THE ORIGIN STORAGE IN TRANSIT POINT WHILE AWAITING STREET DIRECTION AT THE DESTINATION POINT SPECIFIED IN THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING ARE NOT DUE THE CARRIER UNDER A CONTRACT REQUIRING ULTIMATE DESTINATION DELIVERY OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND A BILL OF LADING CONSTITUTING A SINGLE UNIFIED TRANSACTION. STORAGE INCIDENTAL TO THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE A PART OF THE UNIFIED TRANSACTION. THE INABILITY TO FURNISH THE STREET ADDRESS AT THE TIME THE SHIPMENT WAS TENDERED DOES NOT MEAN THE DESTINATION OF THE SHIPMENT WAS THE STORAGE WAREHOUSE AT ORIGIN.

B-149412, SEPTEMBER 11, 1962, 42 COMP. GEN. 160

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - DELIVERY IMPOSSIBILITY - PAYMENT BASIS CHARGES FOR CARTAGE AND ACCESSORIAL SERVICES FURNISHED ON AN INTRA STATE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHICH HAD BEEN DESTROYED BY FIRE AT THE ORIGIN STORAGE IN TRANSIT POINT WHILE AWAITING STREET DIRECTION AT THE DESTINATION POINT SPECIFIED IN THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING ARE NOT DUE THE CARRIER UNDER A CONTRACT REQUIRING ULTIMATE DESTINATION DELIVERY OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND A BILL OF LADING CONSTITUTING A SINGLE UNIFIED TRANSACTION; THEREFORE, THE SERVICES OF PACKING, CARTAGE, AND STORAGE INCIDENTAL TO THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS ARE A PART OF THE UNIFIED TRANSACTION, AND THE INABILITY TO FURNISH THE STREET ADDRESS AT THE TIME THE SHIPMENT WAS TENDERED DOES NOT MEAN THE DESTINATION OF THE SHIPMENT WAS THE STORAGE WAREHOUSE AT ORIGIN, AND THE CARRIER FAILING TO ACCOMPLISH DELIVERY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING, THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT LIABLE FOR THE CHARGES ACCRUING TO THE STORAGE LOCATION.

TO GUARDIAN VAN AND STORAGE, INC., SEPTEMBER 11, 1962:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 20, 1962, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE DATED APRIL 19, 1962 (OUR CLAIM NO. TK-733662). THE SETTLEMENT DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $685.79, ALLEGEDLY THE ACCRUED CHARGES FOR CARTAGE AND ACCESSORIAL SERVICES FURNISHED ON A SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, OWNED BY LIEUTENANT COMMANDER GILLIAM M. BAILEY, USN, AND TENDERED TO YOU FOR TRANSPORTATION UNDER GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING NO. A-2507911, IN MAY 1961.

THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING SHOWS THAT ON MAY 16, 1961, THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, NAVAL SUPPLY CENTER, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, TENDERED AT 221 I AVENUE, CORONADO, CALIFORNIA,"1 LOT HOUSEHOLD GOODS," WEIGHING 10,470 POUNDS, TO GUARDIAN VAN AND STORAGE COMPANY. THE BILL OF LADING SHOWS LIEUTENANT COMMANDER BAILEY AS CONSIGNEE AND HANFORD, CALIFORNIA, AS DESTINATION. THE "MARKS" SECTION OF THE BILL OF LADING CONTAINS THIS NOTATION: STORAGE IN TRANSIT IS AUTHORIZED FOR A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED 180 DAYS AND WILL BE AT ORIGIN. THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION WHICH WILL BE AN INTRASTATE POINT WILL BE FURNISHED PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE

STORAGE IN TRANSIT IS AUTHORIZED FOR A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED 180 DAYS

IT ALSO IS STATED ON THE BILL OF LADING THAT THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE "DESTROYED BY FIRE, GUARDIAN VAN AND STORAGE COMPANY, WAREHOUSE, 20 JUNE 1961.' THE CONSIGNEE'S CERTIFICATE OF DELIVERY HAS NOT BEEN ACCOMPLISHED.

INCLUDED WITH THE PAPERS SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CLAIM IS A DOCUMENT HEADED "CONFIRMATION OF ORDER, AGREEMENT FOR SERVICES, RATE QUOTATION, SHIPPING DOCUMENT AND/OR FREIGHT BILL.' THIS DOCUMENT, BEARING NO. 1520 AND DATED MAY 9, 1961, CONTAINS NEAR THE TOP A STATEMENT WHICH READS IN PART: "THIS WILL CONFIRM INSTRUCTIONS AND AUTHORIZE YOU TO MOVE, SHIP, PACK, STORE AND/OR PERFORM THE SERVICES HEREON; " INDICATES IN THE SPACE HEADED "FROM," "GILLIAM M. BAILEY, LT.CMDR. USN 221 I AVENUE, CORONADO, CALIFORNIA," AND IN THE SPACE HEADED "TO," SAME (SIT-180 DYS C/O GUARDIAN (SIT--- ORIGIN).' IN ADDITION THERE IS A REFERENCE TO "GBL A 2507911" AND A HANDWRITTEN ANNOTATION: "DESTROYED BY FIRE 6-20-61.' THE DELIVERY RECEIPT, PROVIDED AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS FORM, HAS NOT BEEN COMPLETED. ALSO INCLUDED WITH THE PAPERS IN YOUR CLAIM IS A DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FORM TITLED "ACCESSORIAL SERVICES CERTIFICATE.' IN THE SPACE HEADED "PLACE FROM," IT SHOWS "CORONADO, CALIFORNIA; " IN THE SPACE HEADED "TO," IT SHOWS "HANFORD, CALIFORNIA; " AND IN THE SPACE HEADED "EXPLANATION OR REMARKS," APPEARS THE HANDWRITTEN NOTATION "SIT AT ORIGIN.' THE SPACE HEADED "STORAGE IN TRANSIT NUMBER OF DAYS AT (CITY OR STATE)" IS BLANK. OTHER ENTRIES ON THE CERTIFICATE INDICATE THAT CERTAIN PACKING SERVICES WERE PERFORMED AND LIEUTENANT COMMANDER BAILEY, BY HIS SIGNATURE ON THE CERTIFICATE, HAS VERIFIED THOSE FACTS. THESE DOCUMENTS INDICATE THAT LIEUTENANT COMMANDER BAILEY'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE PACKED FOR SHIPMENT, TRANSPORTED TO AND STORED IN THE CARRIER'S WAREHOUSE, WHERE, ON JUNE 20, 1961, THEY WERE DESTROYED BY FIRE.

YOU SENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY YOUR CLAIM FOR $685.79, WHICH INCLUDES CHARGES FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS OWNER'S RESIDENCE TO YOUR WAREHOUSE, ACCESSORIAL SERVICES, WAREHOUSE HANDLING AND TWO MONTHS' STORAGE, BUT WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY CHARGES FOR TRANSPORTATION BEYOND THE WAREHOUSE. PAYMENT WAS REFUSED AND YOUR CLAIM WAS RETURNED BY THE NAVY ON THE GROUND THAT THE UNITED STATES WAS NOT LIABLE FOR THESE CHARGES BECAUSE NO PART OF THE GOODS WERE DELIVERED TO THE PROPERTY OWNER AT DESTINATION. LATER, YOU SENT A SIMILAR CLAIM TO THE NAVY WHICH WAS REFERRED TO OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION, WHERE IT WAS DISALLOWED IN THE MENTIONED SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE.

IT IS CLEAR THAT YOU REGARD THE MOVEMENT FROM INITIAL POINT OF ORIGIN TO THE WAREHOUSE AS AN EXECUTED AGREEMENT, UPON WHICH YOU BELIEVE ALL CHARGES HAVE BEEN EARNED UPON DELIVERY TO THE WAREHOUSE. YOU STATE THAT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE CARRIER TO EFFECT DELIVERY TO ANY DESTINATION OTHER THAN THE WAREHOUSE LOCATION BECAUSE THE BILL OF LADING CONTRACT STATED THAT THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION WOULD BE FURNISHED PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE STORAGE IN TRANSIT PERIOD. YOU CONCLUDE, THEREFORE, THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF A NOTIFICATION BY THE NAVAL SUPPLY CENTER OF THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION, THE CARRIER COULD ONLY ASSUME THAT THE DESTINATION OF THE GOODS WAS ITS WAREHOUSE IN SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA.

THE RECORD IN THIS CASE, HOWEVER, CLEARLY REFLECTS AN INTENTION TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT OF TRANSPORTATION TO DELIVER THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO COMMANDER BAILEY'S NEW RESIDENCE. THE BILL OF LADING WAS MADE FOR THE SINGLE PURPOSE OF MOVING LIEUTENANT COMMANDER BAILEY'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM CORONADO, CALIFORNIA, TO A NEW LOCATION IN HANFORD,CALIFORNIA. EFFECTUATE THIS PURPOSE, INCIDENTAL SERVICES LIKE PACKING FOR SHIPMENT, CARTAGE TO THE CARRIER'S WAREHOUSE, AND STORAGE AT THE WAREHOUSE WERE NECESSARY IN ADDITION TO THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION OF THE GOODS TO HANFORD. ALL OF THE SERVICES, WHICH WERE COVERED BY A SINGLE CONTRACT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE CARRIER, WERE KNOWN TO BE NEEDED AND PROVISION WAS MADE FOR THEIR PERFORMANCE AS PART OF A SINGLE UNIFIED TRANSACTION AT THE TIME THE GOODS WERE TENDERED TO THE CARRIER AT CORONADO. THAT HANFORD WAS TO BE THE DESTINATION OF THE SHIPMENT IS SHOWN BY THE REFERENCE TO HANFORD AS DESTINATION IN THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING AND IN THE ACCESSORIAL CERTIFICATE. THE FACT THAT THE BILL OF LADING INDICATED THAT THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION WOULD BE FURNISHED PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE STORAGE IN TRANSIT PERIOD DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE DESTINATION OF THE SHIPMENT WAS TO BE THE CARRIER'S WAREHOUSE AT SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA. DELIVERY TO SAN DIEGO AS THE DESTINATION OF THE SHIPMENT IS NOWHERE MENTIONED IN THE CONTRACT. IT SEEMS MORE LOGICAL TO CONCLUDE THAT LIEUTENANT COMMANDER BAILEY WAS RELOCATING IN HANFORD, CALIFORNIA, BUT THAT THE PARTICULAR STREET ADDRESS IN HANFORD WAS UNKNOWN AT THE TIME OF THE MAKING OF THE CONTRACT. IN ANY EVENT, HAD THE PRECISE LOCATION IN HANFORD BEEN FURNISHED, OR HAD THE HANFORD DESTINATION BEEN CHANGED TO SOME OTHER CALIFORNIA DESTINATION, THE CONTRACT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN FULFILLED BECAUSE THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE DESTROYED BY FIRE IN YOUR WAREHOUSE.

WHEN GOODS TRANSPORTED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING ARE LOST IN TRANSIT, THE CARRIER IS NOT ENTITLED TO ITS FREIGHT CHARGES. ALCOA STEAMSHIP COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, 338 U.S. 421 (1949); STRICKLAND TRANSPORTATION COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, 223 F.2D 466 (1955). SEE, ALSO, 30 COMP. GEN. 348 (1951); 35 ID. 524 (1956). SINCE THESE HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE NOT DELIVERED AT HANFORD, CALIFORNIA, THE DESTINATION TO WHICH THE CARRIER BY THE TERMS OF THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING AGREED TO DELIVER THE SHIPMENT, THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT LIABLE FOR THE CHARGES ACCRUING TO THE STORAGE LOCATION.

THE SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE DATED APRIL 19, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $685.79, IS NOT SHOWN TO BE IN ERROR OTHERWISE AND, ACCORDINGLY, IT IS SUSTAINED. A COPY OF THIS DECISION IS BEING FORWARDED TO THE HONORABLE BOB WILSON, MEMBER OF CONGRESS, WHO HAS ASKED US FOR A REPORT IN THIS CASE.