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rates under the proposed any-quantity ratings, for distances ranging from 100 to 1,000 miles, would yield average truck-mile revenues of 32.3 cents on the spools and 32.9 cents on the bands or rings. These revenues are compared by the respondents with average revenue of 32.8 cents a truck-mile on all traffic, reported to the Commission by class I motor common carriers in the middle Atlantic region for the first 3 quarters of 1942. The lawfulness of the classification of an article cannot be determined by the foregoing comparisons of revenues. In the determination of a lawful classification of an article, consideration is to be given to its transportation characteristics.
As noted, the increased ratings are proposed to be established as exceptions to the governing classification, and they would have application generally between points in trunk-line territory. An exception rating may be established when the transportation characteristics of the excepted article, moving between certain points, differs substantially from the common characteristics of similar articles generally, or where other special circumstances, peculiar to a particular area, warrant it. Exceptions ratings higher than those in the governing classification, such as are here proposed, should not be established in the absence of exceptional circumstances. Here, no exceptional circumstances are shown which warrant a higher rating on the articles involved between points in trunk-line territory only. Although only two points of manufacture are referred to, the record does not establish that the spools and bands or rings are not manufactured in other sections of the country, or that the transportation characteristics of the articles manufactured at North Bergen and Hoboken differ from those manufactured elsewhere. Indeed, the contentions of the respondents and the conference are that the present motor ratings are too low for application on the article regardless of where it may be shipped in the East.
In their exceptions, the respondents rely on Bicycles from Westfield, Mass, to New England and East, 42 M. C. C. 442, as authority for the propriety of establishing an exception rating on an article higher than the rating on the same kind of articles in the governing classification. In that proceeding, we approved the cancelation of anyquantity commodity rates on bicycles from Westfield, Mass., to Baltimore, and certain other points, which rates were on the bases of first class to nearly 11/2 times first class. In the governing classification, bicycles are rated first class, in less than truckloads, and third class, in truckloads. The cancelation there proposed had the result of bringing into effect an exceptions rating of 112 times first class, any quantity, which had been in effect since 1937 from Westfield to points in trunk-line territory other than the destinations considered therein. It was shown that the bicycles shipped from Westfield were somewhat lighter in density than the pre-war bicycles. Manifestly, the circumstances in the last-cited proceeding and in the instant one are dissimilar.
Ratings of 112 times first class have been approved by divisions 5,3, and 2, respectively, as follows: On ice-cream cones, any quantity, averaging 4,2 pounds a cubic foot, and 12 cents a pound, in Dishes or Ice Cream Cones Classification Rating, 12 M. C. C. 55; on paper boxes, in less than carloads, averaging 7.86 pounds a cubic foot, and 43 cents a pound, in Deline Mfg. Co. v. Chicago, B. & Q. R. Co., 146 I. C. C. 322; and on geographical globes, in less than carloads, averaging 8.45 pounds a cubic foot, and 39.5 cents a pound, in Chicago Heights Mfrs. A88n. V. A., T. & S. F. Ry. Co., 122 I. C. C. 582. In Bicycles from Westfield, Mass., to New England and East, supra, we found that the motor-carrier rates there proposed on bicycles, any quantity, from Westfield to Baltimore and certain other destinations, on the basis of 112 times first class, were just and reasonable. The bicycles ranged from 4.7 to 5 pounds a cubic foot, and their value was approximately 43 cents a pound.
Considering the densities and values of the spools and the bands or rings, and the ratings approved on articles having similar transportation characteristics in the proceedings referred to, we conclude that a rating of 11/2 times first class on these articles, any quantity, would be just and reasonable. There is nothing in the record to show that the transportation characteristics of the articles transported by the respondents from and to the points between which the exception ratings would apply differ from those transported between other points by the respondents. If a rating in the general classification is too low, the carriers should correct it by changing the general classification and not by providing a higher rating in an exception to the classification. The respondents should give consideration to increasing the rating in the general classification before filing an increased rating in their exceptions to the classification. The ratings proposed for application as exceptions ratings have not been shown to be just and reasonable.
Findings.-We find that the proposed cancelation of the exceptions ratings on the rivets, in straight shipments, is just and reasonable.
We further find that the proposed exceptions ratings on the ribbonwinding spools and the plate bands or rings have not been shown to be just and reasonable. An order will be entered requiring the cancelation of these ratings, and discontinuing the proceeding, without prejudice to the filing of new schedules in conformity with the views expressed herein.
No. MC-2815 (SUB-No. 6) THE WILLETT COMPANY OF INDIANA, INC., EXTENSION OF OPERATIONS_FORT WAYNE-MACKINAW CITY, MICH.
Submitted December 17, 1942. Decided September 25, 1943
Public convenience and necessity found to require operation by applicant as a
common carrier by motor vehicle, of general commodities, over specified routes, between points in Indiana and Michigan, serving points which are stations on the rail line of The Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Issuance of a certificate, subject to conditions, approved upon compliance by applicant with certain conditions.
Harry E. Yockey, Kirkwood Yockey, and Earl W. Munshaw for applicant.
Oscar Lindstrand for intervener.
Claude 8. Anderson, K. F. Clardy, Robert Des Roches, Fred I. King, George 0. Cowan, W. J. Guenther, and Frank C. Devlin for protestants.
REPORT OF THE COMMISSION DIVISION 5, COMMISSIONERS MAHAFFIE, ROGERS, AND PATTERSON BY DIVISION 5:
Exceptions were filed by protestants to the order recommended by the examiner, and applicant replied.
By application filed September 8, 1941, as amended, The Willett Company of Indiana, Inc., of Chicago, Ill., seeks a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing extension of operations, in interstate or foreign commerce, as a common carrier by motor vehicle, of general commodities, between Fort Wayne, Ind., and Mackinaw City, Mich., over seven connecting routes between the following termini: (1) Fort Wayne, and Grand Rapids, Mich., (2) Grand Rapids and Cadillac, Mich., (3) Cadillac and Mackinaw City, Mich., (4) Cadillac and Traverse City, Mich., (5) Cadillac and Falmouth, Mich., (6) Grand Rapids and Muskegon, Mich., and (7) Lake City and Manton, Mich., serving intermediate and off-route points which are stations on the rail line of The Pennsylvania Railroad Company, as more fully described in the appendix hereto. Certain motor carriers operating in the affected territory oppose the application. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company, hereinafter called the railroad, intervened in behalf of applicant.
Applicant is now authorized to operate over routes that parallel practically the entire system of the railroad in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, serving stations on the rail line. These routes extend west from Bradford, Ohio, and Richmond, Ind., to St. Louis, Mo., and north from Louisville, Ky., to Chicago, Ill., and include a route between Richmond and Fort Wayne. By the instant application, applicant seeks to extend its operations over routes in Indiana and Michigan north of Fort Wayne so as to serve points on the Grand Rapids division of the railroad. This grant of authority would allow applicant to round out its station-to-station service within the railroad's so-called western region by the extension of such service to points in Michigan.
Applicant was organized under the laws of Indiana in 1934. Its entire capital stock is owned by the American Contract & Trust Company, the latter being a wholly owned subsidiary of the railroad. On the date of the hearing, applicant owned and operated 84 pieces of equipment composed of 41 tractors and 43 trailers, of which 12 of each will be used in the proposed operations. At that time, it had 78 employees, and it intends to hire 11 drivers for the new operations. It has no terminal or dock personnel, but maintains a garage at Grand Rapids.
The operations under consideration would be limited to line-haul movements between stations on lines of the railroad. Applicant would render service which is auxiliary to, and supplemental of, the rail service in the transportation of less-than-carload freight. The general plan of this coordinated service is to transport such traffic by rail between key or break-bulk stations and thence by truck to the intermediate or way stations. Conversely, applicant would collect freight at the way stations and transport it to the key stations for movement beyond by rail.
Generally speaking, the termini of each of the connecting routes are relatively large cities or important junction points on the main line of the railroad extending between Fort Wayne and Mackinaw City. Fort Wayne and Grand Rapids have been selected by applicant as key points. Points on the branch lines will be served by motor vehicles operating to and from Grand Rapids. The rail service between Fort Wayne and Grand Rapids is frequent and the volume of tonnage is heavy, whereas the intermediate points receive less tonnage and less frequent service. This is also true at the points north of Grand Rapids, with the exception of Cadillac, Traverse City, and Petoskey, Mich.
The estimated monthly tonnage in pounds between the given termini is as follows: Between Fort Wayne and Grand Rapids, 935,870 pounds; between Grand Rapids and Cadillac, 854,620 pounds; between Cadillac and Mackinaw City, 498,420 pounds; between Cadillac and Traverse City, 280,020 pounds; and between Grand Rapids and Muskegon, 831,090 pounds. The distances by highway and rail between the termini are as follows: From Fort Wayne to Grand Rapids, 168 miles by highway and 142 by rail; from Grand Rapids to Cadillac, 106 miles by highway and 98 by rail; from Cadillac to Mackinaw City, 154 miles by highway and 128 by rail; from Cadillac to Traverse City via Lake City and Falmouth, 88 miles by highway and 47 by rail; and from Grand Rapids to Muskegon, 54 miles by highway and 40 by rail.
The railroad will continue to transport carload freight but will discontinue the operation of "peddler” cars in local freight trains. The substitution of motor for rail service over the considered routes will release freight cars for use in through-freight trains and will result in the elimination of over 61,000 car-miles per month and of approximately 860 car-days per month. For every freight car eliminated, the necessity for switching that car in the yards also will be eliminated as well as the attendant expense. The proposed operations will expedite the movement of less-than-carload traffic from 24 to 48 hours and will provide daily, instead of triweekly, service at several points.
A representative of the railroad described the benefits of coordinated rail-truck service, and numerous shippers and receivers of freight at points on the rail line expressed a belief that this type of service would be advantageous to them in their business enterprises.
A furniture and undertaking establishment at Lagrange, Ind., has been receiving shipments over the railroad for 30 years. These shipments weigh 400 pounds or less and are received at least once a week. Although the present rail service is generally satisfactory, a saving of 24 hours in transit by means of the coordinated service would benefit this receiver.
A company at Plainwell, Mich., manufactures steel equipment, work benches, stools, chairs, cabinets, and other steel items. It has always used rail service for both in-bound and out-bound shipments. It receives shipments from Bridgeport, Conn., New Brighton and Philadelphia, Pa., Buffalo, N. Y., Cleveland, Ohio, and Louisville, over the lines of the railroad. Out-bound traffic ranging from 50,000 to 75,000 pounds a month is shipped to all parts of the United States. This company uses motor carriers for short hauls, particularly, from and to points in Indiana and Ohio, and will continue to use them as long as their service remains efficient and satisfactory. On the longer hauls, rail service has proved more efficient, but a saving of 24 hours in transit under the proposed rail-motor service would be a definite advantage to this company.
A dealer in farm equipment and hardware in Conklin, Mich., an intermediate point between Grand Rapids and Muskegon, has used the railroad for both in-bound and out-bound shipments for 15 years.