B-201175, AUG 6, 1981

B-201175: Aug 6, 1981

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DIGEST: WHERE RELEVANT FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION PROVIDES THAT SHIPMENTS ARE TO BE SUBJECT TO LOWEST CHARGES AVAILABLE UNDER TARIFF CONTAINING ALTERNATING RATES. EVEN THOUGH SUCH WEIGHT WAS HIGHER THAN ACTUAL SHIPMENT WEIGHT. IS PROPER. THAT WAS TRANSPORTED FROM COOLIDGE. THE HIGHER CHARGES REFLECTED IN THE SUPPLEMENTAL BILL APPARENTLY WERE DERIVED FROM ITEM 310 OF AFL'S TARIFF 200. ON THE THEORY THAT LOWER RATES CONTAINED IN TARIFF 200 WERE APPLICABLE THAN THOSE APPLIED BY AFL. TARIFF 200 IS GOVERNED BY THE NATIONAL MOTOR FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION. RULE 595 OF THE CLASSIFICATION PROVIDES THAT WHERE ALTERNATING TRUCKLOAD CLASSES AND MINIMUM WEIGHTS ARE PROVIDED. GSA'S REVISED AUDIT POSITION IS CORRECT.

B-201175, AUG 6, 1981

DIGEST: WHERE RELEVANT FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION PROVIDES THAT SHIPMENTS ARE TO BE SUBJECT TO LOWEST CHARGES AVAILABLE UNDER TARIFF CONTAINING ALTERNATING RATES, AUDIT ACTION OF GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION IN COMPUTING CHARGES BY APPLYING LOWEST RATES TO MINIMUM WEIGHT ESTABLISHED FOR THAT RATE, EVEN THOUGH SUCH WEIGHT WAS HIGHER THAN ACTUAL SHIPMENT WEIGHT, IS PROPER.

AMERICAN FARM LINES:

AMERICAN FARM LINES (AFL) REQUESTS REVIEW OF THE DISALLOWANCE BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA) OF ITS SUPPLEMENTAL BILL NO. 1 1056- X5 FOR $113.74, REFLECTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE $291.34 REQUESTED BY AFL AND THE $177.60 ALLOWED BY GSA.

THE CLAIM AND DISALLOWANCE RELATE TO A SHIPMENT OF FIREWORKS, SPECIAL, CLASS B EXPLOSIVES, WEIGHING 18,006 POUNDS (INCLUDING PALLET WEIGHT), THAT WAS TRANSPORTED FROM COOLIDGE, ARIZONA, TO FORT ESTILL, KENTUCKY ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING K-4023491, DATED JANUARY 27, 1978.

IN MARCH 1978, THE GOVERNMENT PAID AFL $2,544.40 UPON PRESENTATION OF ITS ORIGINAL BILL, BEFORE AUDIT. THE HIGHER CHARGES REFLECTED IN THE SUPPLEMENTAL BILL APPARENTLY WERE DERIVED FROM ITEM 310 OF AFL'S TARIFF 200, MF-ICC 9. TARIFF 200 CONTAINS LOCAL DISTANCE COMMODITY RATES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF WEAPONS, AMMUNITION AND EXPLOSIVES, AMONG OTHER RELATED ITEMS.

GSA AUTHORIZED PAYMENT TO AFL OF ONLY $177.60 OF THE $291.34 CLAIMED, ON THE THEORY THAT LOWER RATES CONTAINED IN TARIFF 200 WERE APPLICABLE THAN THOSE APPLIED BY AFL. WE AGREE WITH GSA. TARIFF 200 IS GOVERNED BY THE NATIONAL MOTOR FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION. RULE 595 OF THE CLASSIFICATION PROVIDES THAT WHERE ALTERNATING TRUCKLOAD CLASSES AND MINIMUM WEIGHTS ARE PROVIDED, CHARGES SHALL BE THE LOWEST THAT CAN BE COMPUTED BY USE OF ANY TRUCKLOAD CLASS SUBJECT TO THE TRUCKLOAD MINIMUM WEIGHT PROVIDED FOR SUCH CLASS. ITEM 310 CONTAINS VARIOUS TRUCKLOAD MINIMUMS; WE VIEW THEM AS ALTERNATING MINIMUMS. THEREFORE, UNDER RULE 595 GSA COULD PROPERLY APPLY THE TRUCKLOAD MINIMUM WEIGHT AND RATE THAT PRODUCED THE LOWEST CHARGES. SEE AMERICAN FARM LINES, B-199927, MAY 12, 1981.

ON A DISTANCE OF 1,824 MILES, ITEM 310 (2ND REVISED PAGE 21) OF TARIFF 200 PROVIDES A RATE OF $15.61 PER 100 POUNDS ON A MINIMUM WEIGHT OF 16,000 POUNDS. THE CARRIER COMPUTED ITS CHARGES OF $2,835.74 BY APPLYING THE $15.61 RATE TO THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF 18,006 POUNDS (WHICH INCLUDES $25 FOR SIGNATURE SECURITY SERVICE). GSA APPLIED A RATE OF $8.99 PER 100 POUNDS, APPLICABLE TO SHIPMENTS HAVING A MINIMUM WEIGHT OF 30,000 POUNDS. SINCE ITEM 310 PROVIDED FOR A RATE OF $8.99 WITH A MINIMUM WEIGHT OF 30,000 POUNDS, AND SINCE APPLICATION OF THAT RATE TO THAT MINIMUM WEIGHT PROVIDES THE LOWEST CHARGE AVAILABLE FOR THIS SHIPMENT UNDER THE TARIFF, GSA'S REVISED AUDIT POSITION IS CORRECT.

FOR THE ABOVE REASONS, GSA'S AUDIT ACTION IS SUSTAINED.