L. T. Barringer & Co. v. United States
319 U.S. 1 (1943)

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U.S. Supreme Court

L. T. Barringer & Co. v. United States, 319 U.S. 1 (1943)

L. T. Barringer & Co. v. United States

No. 520

Argued March 3, 1943

Decided May 3, 1943

319 U.S. 1

Syllabus

Section 2 of the Interstate Commerce Act forbids as an "unjust discrimination" that any carrier, "directly or indirectly, by any special rate, rebate, drawback, or other device," charge any person more or less than another for "a like and contemporaneous service in the transportation of a like kind of traffic under substantially similar circumstances and conditions." Tariffs here under consideration, approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission, eliminate the loading charge on cotton moving from points in Oklahoma to certain ports on the Gulf of Mexico, while retaining it on cotton moving to the Southeast.

Held:

1. Loading is a transportation service to which § 2 applies. P. 319 U. S. 6.

2. In determining whether the difference in the loading charge resulted in unjust discrimination, the Commission was entitled to consider relevant differences in the "circumstances and conditions" relating to the through line-haul rates. P. 319 U. S. 7.

3. Considering the truck competition to the Gulf ports and the relative rate structures, the determination of the Commission that the reduction in the line-haul cost to the shipper, effected by remission of the loading charge, did not result in an unjust discrimination was not lacking in rational basis. P. 319 U. S. 10.

4. That the total through cost of the transportation service, of which the loading charge is a component, may be open to attack in a proceeding under § 13(1) bringing the through rate into question

Page 319 U. S. 2

does not require a determination that the difference in the loading charge constitutes an unjust discrimination. P. 319 U. S. 10.

5. Section 6(1) does not preclude the Commission from considering the validity of the imposition or elimination of a separately stated loading charge in the light of its relationship to the through rate. P. 319 U. S. 12.

6. The facts which justify the Commission's finding that the elimination of the loading charge does not result in an unjust discrimination also justify its finding that the elimination of that charge does not create an undue preference in violation of § 3(1). P. 319 U. S. 13.

7. The Commission's findings are adequately supported by substantial evidence of record. P. 319 U. S. 14.

49 F.Supp. 637 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of a District Court of three judges dismissing the complaint in a suit to enjoin and set aside an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

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