B-159967, OCT. 11, 1966

B-159967: Oct 11, 1966

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685693: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 16. YOUR HOUSE TRAILER WAS TRANSPORTED FROM PORT CHICAGO TO IMPERIAL BEACH IN JUNE 1965 BY THE NATIONAL TRAILER CONVOY. THE GOVERNMENT WAS BILLED FOR THE MOVEMENT AT A RATE OF 74 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM CONCORD TO IMPERIAL BEACH. THE MOVING COMPANY EXPLAINED THAT THE BILLING WAS BASED ON TRANSPORTING A 10-FOOT WIDE TRAILER 53 FEET LONG WITH FULL DOUBLE EXPANDO AT A RATE OF 54 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE TRAILER PLUS 10 CENTS PER MILE PER SIDE ON EXPANDO. YOU WERE CHARGED WITH THE EXCESS COST. AS A BASIS FOR ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM YOU URGE THAT THE CHARGE OF 74 CENTS PER MILE IS EXORBITANT FOR A TRAILER WHICH WHEN TRANSPORTED IS ONLY 10 FEET BY 53 FEET.

B-159967, OCT. 11, 1966

TO LIEUTENANT (JG) GEORGE LAURICK, USN, 685693:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 16, 1966, IN EFFECT REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 5, 1966, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE SUM OF $100.80, REPRESENTING A PORTION OF THE EXCESS COST INVOLVED IN MOVING YOUR HOUSE TRAILER FROM CONCORD, CALIFORNIA, TO IMPERIAL BEACH, CALIFORNIA, ON OR ABOUT JUNE 21, 1965.

PURSUANT TO YOUR APPLICATION AND AGREEMENT TO PAY ANY EXCESS MOVING COST, YOUR HOUSE TRAILER WAS TRANSPORTED FROM PORT CHICAGO TO IMPERIAL BEACH IN JUNE 1965 BY THE NATIONAL TRAILER CONVOY, INC., ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING. THE GOVERNMENT WAS BILLED FOR THE MOVEMENT AT A RATE OF 74 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM CONCORD TO IMPERIAL BEACH. BY LETTER DATED MARCH 3, 1966, THE MOVING COMPANY EXPLAINED THAT THE BILLING WAS BASED ON TRANSPORTING A 10-FOOT WIDE TRAILER 53 FEET LONG WITH FULL DOUBLE EXPANDO AT A RATE OF 54 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE TRAILER PLUS 10 CENTS PER MILE PER SIDE ON EXPANDO. SINCE THE CHARGE EXCEEDED THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT PAYABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT OF 51 CENTS PER MILE AS FIXED BY LAW AND THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS BY $128.80, YOU WERE CHARGED WITH THE EXCESS COST.

AS A BASIS FOR ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM YOU URGE THAT THE CHARGE OF 74 CENTS PER MILE IS EXORBITANT FOR A TRAILER WHICH WHEN TRANSPORTED IS ONLY 10 FEET BY 53 FEET. YOU SAY YOU COULD HAVE ARRANGED FOR THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR TRAILER FOR LESS THAN 51 CENTS PER MILE, BUT WERE ADVISED BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, NAVY SUPPLY CENTER, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, THAT THE SHIPMENT MUST BE MADE BY MOVERS THEY SELECT AND WERE ASSURED BY THE NAVY AND THE TRANSPORTER THAT THE RATE WOULD NOT EXCEED 56 CENTS PER MILE. YOU CONTEND THAT THIS ASSURANCE SHOULD ENTITLE YOU TO MOVEMENT OF YOUR TRAILER AT A COST OF NOT TO EXCEED 56 CENTS PER MILE, OR AN EXCESS COST OF $28.

AS YOU SAY YOU ARE AWARE, THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT AT THE REQUEST OF A MEMBER AND SUBJECT TO HIS WRITTEN AGREEMENT TO PAY ANY EXCESS COSTS INVOLVED, THE GOVERNMENT WILL ARRANGE FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSE TRAILER BY COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT MEANS AND PAY ALL COSTS RELATED TO THE TRANSPORTATION. UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS ALL COSTS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT, REGARDLESS OF TYPE, WHICH RESULT IN AN OVERALL PAYMENT IN EXCESS OF A RATE OF 51 CENTS PER MILE MUST BE CHARGED TO THE MEMBER. ONLY IN UNUSUAL CASES, SUCH AS WHEN A TRANSPORTATION OFFICER IS NOT AVAILABLE, MAY A MEMBER BE PERMITTED TO ARRANGE OR CONTRACT PERSONALLY WITH A COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTER FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSE TRAILER. UNDER THE REGULATIONS THE TRANSPORTER IN EITHER CASE MUST BE ONE WHO IS OPERATING PURSUANT TO THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE OR UNDER APPLICABLE STATE STATUTES IN INTRASTATE COMMERCE.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE CONCERN WHICH YOU SAY WOULD HAVE MOVED YOUR TRAILER FOR LESS THAN 51 CENTS PER MILE COULD NOT QUALIFY AS AN INTERSTATE OR INTRASTATE CARRIER. HENCE, THE NAVY OFFICIALS WERE PROHIBITED FROM CONTRACTING WITH SUCH CONCERN AND COULD NOT HAVE REIMBURSED YOU AT THE 51 CENTS PER MILE RATE HAD THEY PERMITTED YOU TO USE ITS SERVICES.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR STATEMENT THAT YOU HAD A VALID COMMITMENT FROM THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER THAT THE RATE FOR THE MOVEMENT OF YOUR TRAILER WOULD NOT EXCEED 56 CENTS PER MILE, HE MUST HAVE EITHER BEEN UNAWARE OF THE EXPANDO FEATURES OF YOUR TRAILER OR IGNORANT OF THE ADDITIONAL MILEAGE CHARGES FOR SUCH FEATURES. HOWEVER THAT MAY BE, IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED THAT THE RATE BILLED BY THE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTER UNDER THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING OF 54 CENTS PER MILE, PLUS 10 CENTS PER MILE FOR EACH SIDE OF A FULL DOUBLE EXPANDABLE TRAILER SUCH AS YOUR, IS THE LOWEST ALL POINTS INTERSTATE RATE FOR MOVEMENT OF SUCH A TRAILER AND AS THERE WAS NO OFFICIAL PUBLISHED INTERSTATE TARIFF FOR THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA AT THAT TIME, ALL CARRIERS APPLIED THE INTERSTATE RATES FOR INTRASTATE CALIFORNIA MOVEMENTS.

INCORRECT ADVICE AS TO THE PROBABLE COST OF A TRAILER MOVEMENT BY A TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AFFORDS NO BASIS UPON WHICH THE GOVERNMENT MAY REFUSE TO PAY A TRANSPORTER THE LEGALLY ESTABLISHED CHARGES FOR MOVEMENT OF A TRAILER. NEITHER DOES SUCH ADVICE AFFORD ANY BASIS UPON WHICH THIS OFFICE MAY RELIEVE YOU OF ANY EXCESS COSTS FOR MOVEMENT OF THE TRAILER. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 5, 1966, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.