Handling RR Claims

Greg Martin

Tony sez:
So clearly the PRR record of high perishable claims PER TON-MILE do reflect the quality of PRR handling of perishables, whatever may have happened on connecting roads.

Tony Thompson
The way a claim was handed and are still handled is the consignee or his agent reports the damage to the delivering carrier. The clerk on the phone whines and bitches for a half an hour blaming the shipper and then the claim is documented in this era a local agent is contacted. The local agent arrives and whines and bitches that it is the fault of the shipper and he processes the claim for the agreed percentage of claim and salvage. The agent tells the consignee or his agent what to destroy and what to set aside for salvage. The agent contacts the carriers salvage agent and they collect the salvage for a token price and recoup what they can for themselves (there is a whole industry built around this).  A review of the claim is made and a decision to the exact amount of the claim is given to the receiver and the receiver whines and bitches for an hour about how fugged up the railroad is and life goes on. Simple. 
I never said that any railroad was to blame as all the railroads by the process are to blame.
Tony are you saying that Pacific Fruit Express was not at fault? Exactly how many miles of track and trackage rights did PFE operate?  Every car was properly handled from the fields in California to Ogden, UT, New Orleans, St. Louis, MO, Tucumcari, NM, or any gateway?
The problem is most of you have never had the pleasure of dealing with a real live railroad and you don't realize who wags the dogs tail. The operating department is much like your wife, never wrong. It is obviously someone elses fault. Until you live it you will never understand that the shipper and receiver have another prospective and truly they are the revenue stream.   
The PRR might have recorded more claims, but I don't think anyone here would believe they were the cause of the claim. and they handled more perishable freight beyond the gateways than any other eastern carriers, but not so with livestock. The PRR gets the bad wrap because they are the delivering carrier. It has little or nothing to do with any perception of the PRR's service.
Greg Martin  

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