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24701 would be entered on page 1 as C.B.&Q.-2470. These numbers combined with the number appearing on the page would give the complete car number.
Inks of various colors may be used to distinguish inbound movements from outbound movements. Purple ink, for example, might be used to designate the former, and red ink to designate the latter. Appropriate columns could then be ruled to provide for shipping points, destinations, date of shipment, date of arrival, and date of delivery.
The car order clerk should be furnished with information respecting carload shipments to and by the industry so that they may be entered in this book. In addition, he should prepare a daily chart indicating the cars in transit and cars at terminals so, where necessary, steps can be taken thru the tracing clerk to expedite their movements, or to hasten their loading or unloading. In the latter case, particularly, unnecessary demurrage charges can be avoided.
He should also be required to maintain statistical reports indicating the average loading of inbound and outbound cars, as frequently this may be of value in rate cases,
THE SHIPPING ROOM
The Shipping Room: Packing; Packing Foreign Orders;
Since lax methods in the shipping room offset the effectiveness of the work of the traffic department, the shipping room should be placed under the control of the industrial traffic manager.
The shipping room is concerned with the actual preparation of goods for shipment, and with the receipt of goods coming into the plant. The administration of this department should be vested in the traffic department in order that the labor of the shipping room employees may be intelligently directed, and that standard practice rules may be established to govern them in the handling of their work.
American industry has scarcely begun to consider the economical and effective packing of shipments. The rule often has been to make the shipment fit available containers rather than to build a container to fit the shipment. As a result, American shippers have gained the unenviable reputation in other countries of being the poorest merchandise packers in the world.
PACKING FOREIGN ORDERS
With our advent into foreign fields on a large scale, however, comes the need of extensive reform. Mr. B. Olney Hough, Editor of The American Exporter, in his work entitled Elementary Lessons in Exporting, says:
Probably 999 out of every 1,000 differences that arise between shipper and foreign consignee are based upon a claim that the goods are not exactly what were ordered or shipped exactly as instructed. There is positively no latitude allowed the shipper in the case of foreign orders. If the order cannot be executed and shipped in exact accordance with every detail of the order, then the customer should be so written, with a full explanation of what can be done, and the order meanwhile held, awaiting definite instructions to ship in accord with the manufacturer's modifications of the original details.
Many manufacturers are so anxious to execute orders received and believe so thoroly in their own ideas as to what goods will suit, or what details in shipping will be preferable that they are tempted to take the chance and forward the goods in their own way. This may occasionally result to the customer's satisfaction, but the chances are at least 100 to 1 against it, and it will be found far preferable in the end to risk losing the order thru delay rather than to ship any other way than that specifically instructed by the customer.
The great general rule of exactitude is the basis also for a second consideration. In packing goods for export the contents of each case must be checked and controlled with very special care. It will probably be acknowledged that shipping clerks are sometimes careless, and may sometimes even be disposed to make affidavits a little freely as to goods which they are credited as having packed into certain cases. This at least, was true when the writer in his cub days served in this department of a factory. He is afraid that he and his fellow shipping clerks may perhaps sometimes have sworn to having packed goods which customers declared were missing on arrival when accident ultimately discovered the self-same goods still in stock at the factory.
How peculiarly irritating such an occurrence is to foreign exporters can hardly be realized by Americans who have not had business experience thousands of miles away, or on the other side of the globe. On one occasion the writer was engaged in business in a foreign country, and personally saw unpacked a case of goods from an American manufacturer of tools, when a dozen of a certain article invoiced by the manufacturer was found to be missing. The case was absolutely full, and repacking the same goods in the same case and in the same manner left not a spare inch of room into which the missing gouds could have been placed.
A claim transmitted to the manufacturer resulted in the usual affidavit that the goods had been packed and shipped. This was not all. The manufacturer went out of his way to insinuate first, that the missing goods had been stolen in transit and, second, and more injudicially, to insinuate dishonesty on the part of the consignee himself. That is to say, on the part of the consignee's employee. The manufacturer, naturally enough, never received a repeat order. In the writer's opinion it would have been far wiser for a manufacturer to have replace the missing dozen, or credited its value, no matter how thoroly convinced that he had actually shipped the goods.
RATES AND SPACE
A problem of the utmost importance is that of space, particularly in transportation by water. Rates are
computed on a weight or a measurement basis, according to which yields the greatest revenue. Practically all merchandise is taken on the measurement basis, and the use of needlessly bulky containers results in a direct loss.
It is the function of the traffic department in such cases to make a survey or analysis of the firm's output, and to determine the most economical style of packing. In fixing the standard to be employed, the safety of the goods should be of paramount importance. If a customer, for example, purchases a saw, and if it be shipped loose, unprotected by packing, and consequently is so damaged as to be unusable, the purchaser would be more inclined to censure the shipper than the carrier.
On the other hand, if the saw could be affixed to a stout board, it would be sufficiently protected to withstand the ordinary hazards of transportation, and the customer, assuming him to be liable for the freight charges, would be called upon to pay a transportation bill materially less than if a box were employed. Moreover, the industry would save money, because a board costs much less than a box.
The packers should be provided with a complete invoice of the order, indicating the various items that comprise the shipment. This list should be carefully checked with the actual goods received from the order pickers, and any discrepancy should be verified before the packing is undertaken.
After the goods are packed, the packer should be required to insert a slip, indicating that the goods were packed by a designated packer (numerals may be used to indicate individuals). Thus any subsequent contention as to what was or what was not in the package,