AN IMAGINATIVE POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO THE SMALL SHIPMENT PROBLEMS

ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE CENSUS OF TRANSPORTATION IN 1963, 90% OF THE NATION'S SHIPMENTS UNDER 10,000 POUNDS WERE HANDLED BY TRUCK. MORE RECENT UNOFFICIAL DATA SHOW THAT SHIPMENTS WEIGHING UNDER 1000 POUNDS ACTUALLY ACCOUNT FOR ABOUT 84% OF A GENERAL COMMODITY CARRIER'S TOTAL NUMBER OF SHIPMENTS BUT ONLY 20% OF THE TOTAL WEIGHT MOVED. THE SMALL SHIPMENTS CONTRIBUTE ONLY 30% OF THE REVENUES AND RESULT IN OPERATING RATIOS OF ABOUT 105.6. THESE DATA FORM THE BASIS FOR CARRIER ALLEGATIONS OF RATE INEQUITIES. AT PRESENT THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT PROTECTS ABOUT 15,000 REGULATED INTERSTATE MOTOR CARRIERS, OF WHOM ABOUT 6,000 HANDLE GENERAL (I. E., SMALL) SHIPMENTS. TWO PERCENT OF THESE GROSSED OVER $10 MILLION IN 1966, ACCOUNTING FOR MORE THAN 50% OF ALL OPERATING REVENUE IN THIS GROUP. THE PRESENT ARTICLE RECOMMENDS THAT ECONOMIES OF SCALE BE SOUGHT AS A MEANS OF INCREASING THE PROFIT MARGIN OF THE GENERAL CARRIERS, PARTICULARLY THROUGH USE OF MASTER TERMINALS. THERE ALREADY EXIST ABOUT 130 NONPROFIT FREIGHT POOLING SHIPPER ASSOCIATIONS THAT CUT SMALL SHIPMENT COSTS 20% BELOW THE AVERAGE TRUCK CHARGE. IT DOES NOT DO FOR THREE AGENCIES---THE U. S. POST OFFICE, UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, AND REA EXPRESS---TO HAVE VIRTUALLY OLIGOPOLISTIC CONTROL OVER THE MARKET UNDER 100 POUNDS AND FOR 6,000 SHIPPERS TO BE COMPETING FOR THE REST OF THE SMALL-SHIPMENT MARKET. THERE MUST BE A COMPELLING REGULATORY FORCE OR INCENTIVE TO MOTIVATE ALL CARRIERS TO BUY IN OR SELL OUT TO A SINGLE CONSORTIUM OF CARRIERS. SOME OF THE ASPECTS OF THIS PLAN ARE DESCRIBED BRIEFLY.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Vol 11, No 2, PP 34-44
  • Authors:
    • Vreeland, B
  • Publication Date: 1971

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00202033
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 7 1972 12:00AM