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The preparation of these documents, the bills of lading, manifests, and export licenses may be placed in the hands of the bill of lading clerk.
Too much stress cannot be laid upon the necessity of having adequate records so that the absence of an employee charged with a particular function will not throw the traffic machine out of gear. All records should be in a definite order so that any member of the department can refer to them and locate the desired information. Each shipment has assigned to it an
invoice number by which that particular shipment is ! identified in the account of the firm, and the invoice
number is used as the index number of the bill of lading
That is to say, the invoice number assigned to a shipment is shown as the number of the bill of lading in the space provided therefor, and the memorandum bills of lading are then filed in numerical order according to such numbers. Each shipment has assigned to it an invoice number by which that particular shipment is identified in the account of the firm, and the invoice number is used as the index number of the bill of lading. That is, the invoice number assigned to a shipment is shown as the number of the bill of lading in the space provided therefor, and the memorandum bills of lading are then filed in numerical order according to such numbers.
The foregoing system has proved quite satisfactory in the great majority of cases.
Some concerns, however, do not conduct their commercial transactions in this manner, and must devise
some other number scheme or filing system for the accommodation of this record.
One plan that finds general favor is the so-called "state territorial arrangement," whereby memorandum bills of lading are sorted out, first by states, and the towns, or destinations, are then arranged alphabetically under each state. The bills of lading so sorted are then distributed in compartments or divisions of vertical correspondence files, or, if preferred, in letter boxes of cheap construction.
The adoption of either of the foregoing schemes precludes the necessity of an elaborate index. In one case, the invoice number is sufficient, and in the other, the consignee's name and address will locate the bill of lading
Other traffic departments, however, number their bills of lading consecutively, starting with the number "1" the first of each year, and prepare an index to cover various periods. This index is arranged on the territorial plan, first by state and then by destination under state.
CAR ORDER CLERKS
The question of car supply as applied to industries doing a considerable volume of carload business, both inbound and outbound, is one of increasing vexation.
The duties of the clerk charged with the supervision of this angle of traffic work are to secure the necessary cars for the accommodation of outbound shipments, and to arrange for the prompt release of those coming into the terminal for the industry.
He must have some knowledge of clearance of the various railways, and must know what size of carwidth and height-may be run thru to destination via such routes.
Likewise, he must have a knowledge of the cubical capacity of cars, and some knowledge of the displacement quality of various items of the firm's output, so that in shipping articles where the charges are to some measure contingent on the size of car used, he can minimize the transportation expense by securing a car of proper dimensions.
ORDERING CARS: FORMS
For the purpose of ordering cars, the American Railroad Association has prescribed a standard form, which appears in Fig. 31.
This form should be filled out to indicate the number of cars required. It may be that at certain times two or more cars will be required to transport a shipment of goods. It must also indicate the kind of car-stock, gondola, box, or refrigerator; the nature of the shipment-package freight, coal, live stock, or whatever it may be; the date on which shipper will be ready to load; the destination of the shipment; and the lines and junctions by which the car or cars are to be routed.
This form is then sent to the local agent of the interested carrier, who in turn transmits it to the train dispatcher or local car distributor so that the necessary arrangements can be made and equipment of the desired kind secured at the time needed.
In municipal centers, it is especially desirable to indicate the place where such cars are to be "spotted”