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carriers, even though they may not be subject to the act to regulate commerce. Our purpose is to more clearly define the provisions of the law to which the inland carrier must conform in the handling of traffic destined to or from a foreign and nonadjacent country. Such rail carrier may control, or connect with, a line of steamships engaged in foreign commerce, with which it may interchange business as freely as with another rail carrier, and it may quote a combined rate for the through movement, the agent of the railroad company acting as the agent of the steamship company in so doing. An inland carrier may go into the foreign shipping business without contravening any provision of the act to regulate commerce; nor is there anything in such statute which denies to a rail carrier the right to quote a rate from an inland point to a foreign destination over its own through route or by any other route. But as to such carriers engaged in foreign business, the rail carrier has, so far as this law is concerned, a purely contractual or proprietary relation, not a relation regulated or controlled in any manner by this act.
The Federal Government has said that this Commission shall exercise jurisdiction over the inland portion of the haul, either to or from the foreign country; and it must logically and necessarily follow that the rate which must be filed with the Commission under section 6 of the act is the rate governing such movement. On foreign commerce the rate to be published with this Commission should be the rate to the port and from the port—an open rate, which any who desire to do so may use with equal advantage. The publication of such rate does not in any manner limit the very valuable privilege of through billing. Such through billing should clearly separate the liability of the rail and the ocean carrier and show the published rate of the inland carrier. The routing of the freight, however, should remain with the shipper, and upon him may be imposed no greater charge to the port when his freight goes by one ocean line than by another, and this rate to the port the tariffs must disclose.
This ruling is the only one which is consistent with what seems to be the policy of the law, viz, that while restriction and control are essential as to the inland carriers of foreign commerce, the ocean carriers of such commerce should remain unrestrained and free. There is not to-day, and never has been, such a thing as stability of rates upon the water. Perhaps it is not desirable that there should be. The ocean is a highway free to all. No franchise is needed to sail the seas,
nor is the establishment of a line of ships founded, either in law or in economics, upon the theory of a public-serving monopoly which underlies the relation of the railroad to the state. It may well be, therefore, that without regulation, and by reason of natural competitive conditions, the public will be best served, and in the end treated more equitably, by leaving the water carriers to foreign lands entirely unhampered by legal restrictions such as the people of this and other lands have found it necessary to impose upon the railroads. Under the ruling here made the fluctuation in the total through rate charged from an inland point in the United States to a European or Asiatic country will fall where in fact the fluctuation is, at the seaboard. The competition in rates will thus manifest itself where the competition really exists, and where the law presumes it will unrestrictedly continue, viz, where the ships bid against each other for cargo.
MERCHANTS TRAFFIC ASSOCIATION
ATCHISON, TOPEKA & SANTA FE RAILWAY COMPANY; CHICAGO, BURLINGTON & QUINCY RAILROAD COMPANY; CHICAGO, ROCK ISLAND & PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY; MISSOURI PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY; DENVER & RIO GRANDE RAILROAD COMPANY, AND UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY.
Submitted March 14, 1908. Decided March 16, 1908.
1. While defendants' rate on camera and camera stands from St. Louis to Denver is high, it
not so excessive as to warrant interference. 2. Defendants' rate applied to shipments of motorcycles from St. Louis to Denver
should not exceed that imposed upon bicycles between the same points. W. B. Harrison for complainant. H. T. Rogers for Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company.
Henry McAllister for Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company.
E. B. Peirce, J. C. Helm, and C. H. Haines for Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company.
J. W. Preston for Missouri Pacific Railway Company.
F. C. Dillard and Dorsey & Hodges for Union Pacific Railroad Company.
REPORT OF THE COMMISSION.
The complainant is an association of merchants who are located at Denver, Colo., and interested in the transportation of merchandise to and from that city. The defendants are the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company, the Missouri Pacific Railway Company, the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Company, and the Union Pacific Railroad Company. The complaint is that the rates of the defendants for the transportation of cameras and camera stands from St. Louis, Mo., to Denver, Colo., of $3.70 per 100 pounds, and of bicycles and motorcycles of $3.70 and $6.47} per 100 pounds, respectively, are excessive. The defendants admit that the rates are correctly stated, but deny that they are unreasonable.
Cameras and cainera stands are classified under the Western Classification as double first class. As proof that this was unreasonable the complainant relied upon the fact that in Official Classification territory these articles were classified as first class. Its representative urged that if these articles could move from Rochester, N. Y., where they are most largely produced, to St. Louis, a distance of over 900 miles, for 61 cents, it was unreasonable to charge $3.70 for transporting them another 900 miles, from St. Louis to Denver. The 61-cent rate from Rochester to St. Louis has been increased to 62 cents.
An examination of the Official Classification shows that the complainant erred in the assumption as to the rating given these articles under the Official Classification. Cameras are rated as first class in Official Classification territory when less than 50 cents per pound in value; when exceeding this value they are classified as three times first class. The great bulk of cameras exceed the 50-cent limit and therefore take in Official Classification territory three times the firstclass rate. They are bulky, somewhat liable to injury in transportation, and the cost of carriage enters but slightly into the cost of the article itself.
Camera stands are also double first class under the Western Classification when shipped set up. If knocked down and tied in bundles, they take one and one-half times first class; but if knocked down and boxed or crated, they take first class. They are, especially when set up, very light and bulky freight. While the rate applied by the defendants to the transportation of both cameras and camera stands is high, we do not regard it as so excessive as to warrant our interference, and this branch of the complainant's case is not sustained.
When this complaint was brought the rate on bicycles from St Louis to Denver was $3.70 per 100 pounds, or double first class, but since the filing of the complaint that rate has been reduced and is now one and one-half times first class in less than carloads, and first class in carloads. This tariff had been filed at the date of the hearing and the complainant stated that in its opinion the rates named were reasonable, and asked, if the tariff became effective, that the complaint be dismissed as to bicycles.
The rate on motorcycles is still $6.474 from St. Louis to Denver, or three and one-half times first class. The motorcycle, which is in effect a bicyle provided with a small gasoline motor. is crated much like a bicycle, only in a more substantial manner, and occupies when crated a space 8 feet long by 3 feet high and about 10 inches wide, weighing from 175 to 200 pounds, and valued at about $150. A bicycle is about the same length and height but not quite as wide. It weighs from 40 to 50 pounds and is worth approximately $30. Neither the bicycle nor the motorcycle are, when shipped, peculiar y liable to damage. The motorcycle loads much more heavily than the bicycle and is, from a traffic standpoint, more desirable freight. From the shipper's standpoint it is a more valuable article and ought perhaps to pay more in proportion to the cost of the service to the carrier.
On the whole we think the rate applied to the shipment of motorcycles should not exceed that imposed upon bicycles. We are of the opinion that the present rate from St. Louis to Denver upon these articles of $6.474 per 100 pounds is excessive, and that the rate ought not to exceed, for the future, one and one-half times the first-class rate from St. Louis to Denver in less than carload lots, and the firstclass rate in carloads.
An order will issue accordingly. 13 I. C. C. Rep.