B-161664, JAN. 24, 1968

B-161664: Jan 24, 1968

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CLASSIFICATION FOR LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD BASIS IS PROPER ALLOWABLE CHARGE AND OVERPAYMENT RESULTING FROM CLASS 100 RATING PUBLISHED IN ITEM 1840 EXCEPTION TARIFF. WE FIND INSTANCES OF PROVISIONS IN TARIFFS NAMING EXCEPTIONS TO THE RATINGS IN THE NATIONAL MOTOR FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION THAT ARE HIGHER THAN THE CLASSIFICATION RATINGS. THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION HAS STATED ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS THAT EXCEPTION RATINGS WHICH ARE HIGHER THAN CLASSIFICATION RATINGS ARE AN ANOMALY WHICH REQUIRES SPECIAL JUSTIFICATION AND. DISCLOSES THAT YOU HAVE COLLECTED OVERCHARGES OF $511.77. THE TARIFF SITUATION IS SUCH AS TO PRODUCE THE ANOMALY WHICH THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION HAS CONDEMNED IN THE CASES MENTIONED ABOVE.

B-161664, JAN. 24, 1968

TRANSPORTATION - FREIGHT CHARGES DECISION TO CONSOLIDATED FREIGHTWAYS CONCERNING FREIGHT CHARGES ON SHIPMENT OF ALUMINUM TANKS AND HELICOPTER ROTOR WING BLADES TRANSPORTED FROM MCCHORD AIR FORCE TO NAVAL AIR STATION, SAN DIEGO, CAL. WHERE CARRIER, WITHOUT MAKING SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS MODIFYING CLASSIFICATION CONDITIONS, ACCEPTS AND TRANSPORTS LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD SHIPMENT OF ALUMINUM TANKS, CLASSIFICATION FOR LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD BASIS IS PROPER ALLOWABLE CHARGE AND OVERPAYMENT RESULTING FROM CLASS 100 RATING PUBLISHED IN ITEM 1840 EXCEPTION TARIFF.

TO CONSOLIDATED FREIGHTWAYS:

IN OUR AUDIT OF THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES PAID ON GOVERNMENT SHIPMENTS, WE FIND INSTANCES OF PROVISIONS IN TARIFFS NAMING EXCEPTIONS TO THE RATINGS IN THE NATIONAL MOTOR FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION THAT ARE HIGHER THAN THE CLASSIFICATION RATINGS. THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION HAS STATED ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS THAT EXCEPTION RATINGS WHICH ARE HIGHER THAN CLASSIFICATION RATINGS ARE AN ANOMALY WHICH REQUIRES SPECIAL JUSTIFICATION AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIAL OR UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES, PRIMA FACIE UNREASONABLE. SEE CLASSIFICATION OF FOODSTUFFS, CHIPS, 62 M.C.C. 679, 687 (1954); KALTE V CENTRAL MOTOR LINES, 61 M.C.C. 529, 534 (1953); EXCEPTIONS RATINGS ON MAGNESIUM METALS, 305 I.C.C. 318, 320 (1958).

OUR EXAMINATION OF THE CHARGES PAID AUGUST 8, 1966, ON YOUR BILL NO. 122191 FOR THE TRANSPORTATION SERVICE COVERED BY GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING NO. C-6494833, DISCLOSES THAT YOU HAVE COLLECTED OVERCHARGES OF $511.77. AT THE SAME TIME, WHILE THE OVERCHARGE BASIS MAY BE DISPUTED, THE TARIFF SITUATION IS SUCH AS TO PRODUCE THE ANOMALY WHICH THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION HAS CONDEMNED IN THE CASES MENTIONED ABOVE. THERE IS NOTHING IN OUR RECORD TO JUSTIFY THE EXCEPTION BASIS ON WHICH YOU COMPUTED THE BILLED AND COLLECTED CHARGES ON BILL OF LADINGNO. C-6494833.

BILL OF LADING C-6494833 COVERED A SHIPMENT OF ALUMINUM TANKS, SET UP IN CRATES, EXCEEDING 250 GALLON CAPACITY, AND SOME HELICOPTER ROTOR WING BLADES, TRANSPORTED FROM MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, WASHINGTON, TO THE NAVAL AIR STATION, NORTH ISLAND (SAN DIEGO), CALIFORNIA, IN MAY 1966. THE ROTOR WING BLADES, AS TO WHICH THERE IS NO DISPUTE OVER THE CHARGES, WEIGHED 2,496 POUNDS, AND THE ALUMINUM TANKS WEIGHED 1,900 POUNDS. FOR THE ALUMINUM TANK PORTION OF THE SHIPMENT YOU CLAIMED AND WERE PAID CHARGES COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF A 12,000 POUND TRUCKLOAD MINIMUM WEIGHT AT A CLASS 100 RATING AND RATE OF $8.06 PER 100 POUNDS.

THE CLASS 100 RATING IS PUBLISHED IN ITEM 1840 OF PACIFIC INLAND FREIGHT TARIFF BUREAU TARIFF NO. 9-D, AS AN EXCEPTION TO ITEM 180860 OF NATIONAL MOTOR FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION NO. A-8. ITEM 1840 ALSO CONTAINS REFERENCE TO THE FACT THAT LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD SHIPMENTS OF ALUMINUM TANKS HAVING A CAPACITY OF 100 GALLONS OR MORE ARE "NOT TAKEN," WHICH YOU APPARENTLY VIEW AS PRECLUDING THE APPLICABILITY OF A LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD RATING ON ALUMINUM TANKS EVEN THOUGH THE CARRIERS ACCEPT AND TRANSPORT SUCH A SHIPMENT.

WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE CLASSIFICATION LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD RATINGS ARE EXCLUDED FROM APPLICATION IN THE PRESENT INSTANCE WHERE A CARRIER, WITHOUT MAKING SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS MODIFYING THE CLASSIFICATION CONDITIONS, TAKES AND TRANSPORTS A LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD SHIPMENT OF ALUMINUM TANKS. WHATEVER THE CARRIERS' INTENT MIGHT HAVE BEEN, THEIR REFUSAL TO MAKE PROVISION FOR A LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD RATING IN EXCEPTIONS ITEM 1840 FAILED TO REMOVE THE CLASSIFICATION RATING BASIS FOR LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD SHIPMENTS OF ALUMINUM TANKS.

OUR DECISION B-161553 DATED JANUARY 18, 1968 (COPY ENCLOSED FOR READY REFERENCE), TO LOS ANGELES-SEATTLE MOTOR EXPRESS, INC., EXPLAINS WHY WE TAKE THE POSITION THAT THE CLASSIFICATION LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD RATING IS APPLICABLE IN A SITUATION COMPARABLE TO THAT HERE INVOLVED. THE REASONING SET FORTH IN THAT DECISION IS EQUALLY APPLICABLE IN THE PRESENT INSTANCE. USING THE CLASSIFICATION LESS THAN TRUCKLOAD BASIS ON THE ALUMINUM TANKS DESCRIBED ON BILL OF LADING NO. C-6494833, WE ARRIVE AT AN ALLOWABLE CHARGE OF $455.43 AS COMPARED WITH THE PAID CHARGE OF $967.20 FOR THAT PORTION OF THE SHIPMENT, RESULTING IN AN OVERCHARGE OF $511.77. THIS OVERCHARGE SHOULD BE REFUNDED IN 45 DAYS TO AVOID COLLECTION BY OTHER MEANS.