Re: 3:1 Reefers to Box Cars ratio

Bob Sterner

I asked my Dad about this one. He was a traffic clerk then manager in the Chicago region from the late 50s into the 80s. Tariffs were a big part of his job. Below is what he had to say about the 3:1 rule. It is interesting that his perception was the RRs didn't like it. I suppose the produce shippers and those who got the 3:1 deal were the happy ones.

Bob Sterner
St. Paul, MN


Yes I am familiar with that rule. They referred to it as the three for one rule. We never took advantage of it because our Boss was a former RR guy and there were a lot of problems with the RR operations when trying to use it. If you had big and bulky products like furniture it really was a good deal.


--- In STMFC@..., "Dave Evans" <devans1@...> wrote:

--- In STMFC@..., "Dave Evans" <devans1@> wrote:

The other possibility is that perhaps this was simply a way to add general merchandise capacity by latching on to the two largest reefer fleets. One thing I plan to do is look at the WWII ICC reports and see if there was a significant drop in reefer carloads during the war - food for domestic consumption was being rationed, and I would think food shipments for overseas did not require reefers to the ports. Perhaps fresh food ton-miles dropped significantly during the war.

Hate to reply to myself, but I did a quick scan of the 1941 and 1944 ICC reports for cars loaded - the commodity's that would likely require produce reefers were nearly all higher in 1944 than 1941, and fresh meat carloads were also higher (as were stock car loads). So reefer utilization must have been higher in 1944, since I think a relatively small percentage of cars were added to the reefer fleet during the war.

Dave Evans

Join { to automatically receive all group messages.