Re: Unsual routings?

Richard Hendrickson

On Dec 9, 2010, at 11:56 AM, Anthony Thompson wrote:

Richard Hendrickson knows more about SFRD than I do, but I'd
guess that these two carloads represent confiscation of empty SFRD
cars by the local railroad to serve Green Giant. In January, SFRD may
not have minded.
Tony is doubtless correct that these cars were captured by the local
carrier and loaded for destinations in the east in violation of the
car service rules. Even in January, SFRD wanted their empties back
so they could be cleaned and prepared for re-loading. However, as
with Pacific Fruit Express, SFRD cars were generally in much better
condition than those of other reefer operators and their agents in
the midwest and east fought a constant battle to prevent other
railroads from appropriating their cars and failing to return them.

Howard Garner's speculation about diversion is probably wrong with
regard to these cars, since they were going to other plants owned by
the same shipper. It's certainly true, however, that shippers'
traffic managers sometimes specified convoluted routes with an eye
toward profitable diversions en route, or simply to keep the cargo
"warehoused" in the cars as long as possible. The extreme example of
the latter practice was followed by years by the Hunt Foods plant in
Southern California, which cleaned out its warehouse every spring to
avoid California's annual inventory tax, routed the cars via the San
Diego & Arizona Eastern through Mexico and then had them held south
of the border where no tax would be due on their contents.

Richard Hendrickson

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