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determined, and results reached which are fair and satisfactory to both.


The type of organization of a freight bureau depends largely upon the volume of transportation business which the bureau supervises, and upon the size or importance of its clientele. Usually the executive responsibility is vested in a traffic commissioner or traffic manager, but in smaller organizations the duty of supervising traffic is assigned to the secretary.

A competent and broad-gauge commissioner must possess a vast fund of essential information; he must be a close student of transportation and business economics. In his profession of traffic management, as in law or medicine, in which only much practical experience makes perfect, he must possess a thoro knowledge of fundamentals as his preliminary equipment. This broad training and knowledge can be obtained only by a systematic study of freight classification, rate construction, the law of carriers, railway regulation, and statutory regulation.

One function of the commissioner is to solve the problem of organization by dividing his force and assigning tasks in such a manner as to secure the best results possible under the circumstances peculiar to his locality.


Traffic bureaus in cities of half a million population or more are operated by a salaried manager and a staff advised by a traffic or transportation committee,

which, in turn, reports to the executive committee or board of directors. Such is the form of organization in the chambers of commerce of Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Baltimore, the Business Men's League of St. Louis, and the Baltimore Merchants' and Manufacturers' Association.

Descriptions of specific plans in larger cities are valuable, and the following outlines therefore presented:


The traffic bureau of the New York Merchants' Association is under the direct supervision of the secretary of the association, who is responsible to the board of directors. It is headed by a manager, who has one assistant manager and a chief clerk. The stenographic, clerical, mailing, filing, and other assistance is furnished by the general office force from outside the bureau. Questions of principle and policy are determined by the transportation committee of the association, which reports to the board of directors, who have the final word in determining and defining the policy of the bureau.

In the Chicago Association of Commerce, transportation affairs are administered by a freight traffic committee of nine members, chosen from the sustaining membership of the interstate division of the association. The chairman of this committee is the director of traffic. All the business of the association with the transportation interests, both rail and water, is conducted by the freight traffic committee, subject to the supervision of the board of directors. The chairman and one member of the freight traffic committee are ex-officio members of the executive committee of the association.

In Boston, the chamber of commerce maintains a transportation bureau, the detail work of which is in charge of the manager of the transportation bureau, who has an assistant and secretary. The manager of transportation submits recommendations on traffic and transportation matters to the committee on transportation for a determination of policy. This committee submits its recommendations to the board of directors; and when the policy has been determined, the detail work of executing that policy devolves upon the bureau.

Similar plans have been adopted in cities with a population of less than one-half million. For example, the Detroit Board of Commerce has placed the transportation bureau in charge of a commissioner who is a member of, and reports to, the transportation committee, which is appointed by the board of directors. The traffic commissioner is assisted by a rate clerk and a secretary.

Generally speaking, the organization of the existing traffic or transportation bureaus is on the order of the chart shown in Fig. 60, but in a few cases the manager of the bureau reports to the executive committee or to the board of directors.

EQUIPMENT All well-equipped traffic bureaus maintain files of tariffs containing interstate and intrastate rates apply. ing on steam railroads, electric lines, and boat lines, for the purpose of quoting rates and of furnishing routing instructions on shipments and in connection with the adjustment of freight claims. Classifications,

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Committee on Junior
Association of Commerce
Committee Supervise Work of
Jenior Association of Commerce

Auditing Committee


Entertainment Committee


laglaiative Committ


Membership Committe

Sub-Committees on

Committee o One Hundred
Open Forum dl the Association

And committee consisting of representatives of forty-two

dilercat les of business

FIG. 60.-Organization of a Chamber of Commerce

express tariffs, and circulars, as well as special privilege tariffs covering reconsigning, milling in transit, switching, etc., are also kept on file. The methods of filing are legion, but adaptable systems are fully described in another section of this work. A complete reference library should also be installed, special attention being given to trade journals.

OBJECT AND FUNCTION As already remarked in this chapter, commercial and civic development depend closely on transportation, and the traffic commissioner holds the key to the future industrial and commercial growth of his city. The successful accomplishment of the purpose of the chamber of commerce, the board of trade, or the business men's league depends on the quality of the service furnished by the traffic bureau. It is, therefore, important to consider the kinds of service to be rendered and the functions to be performed.

Many people have the erroneous idea that the duties of a traffic commissioner begin and end with the study of transportation -rates. This, however, is a very nar

, row conception of the work of a traffic bureau. The bureau should be given the broadest duty of supervising all the details of transportation of the products received and shipped by the members of the organization of which it is a part. This function includes the purchase of transportation, the audit of transportation accounts, the adjustment of claims, and an understanding of rights and obligations under the law.

TYPES OF SERVICE The aim of the traffic commissioner should be to maintain a watchful scrutiny of all transportation and

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