Red Ball Motor Freight, Inc. v. Shannon,
377 U.S. 311 (1964)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Red Ball Motor Freight, Inc. v. Shannon, 377 U.S. 311 (1964)

Red Ball Motor Freight, Inc. v. Shannon

No. 406

Argued April 28, 1964

Decided June 1, 1964*

377 U.S. 311


Appellees are dealers in livestock and commodities in San Antonio, Texas, who made deliveries in their own trucks to customers in Louisiana, where they bought sugar for resale in San Antonio. The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) held that the backhaul of sugar was for-hire carriage not exempt from ICC regulation under § 203(c) of the Interstate Commerce Act as "transportation . . . within the scope, and in furtherance, of a primary business enterprise. . . ." A three-judge District Court set aside the ICC order.

Held: Section 203(c) does not prohibit all backhauling, but codifies the primary business test, which exempts from ICC regulation an operator whose transportation functions are only incidental to its primary activities. Here, the evidence showed that the backhaul furthered appellees' primary general mercantile business, and was exempt private carriage. Pp. 377 U. S. 312-321.

219 F. Supp. 781 affirmed.

Page 377 U. S. 312

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