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PART I

THE INDUSTRIAL TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

Traffic Management-Progressive and Nonprogressive
Types-New School-Former Views-Practical Training-
Magnitude of Plant-Area—Population-Post Offices-Rail-
road Stations Transportation Instrumentalities–Division
of Labor-Transportation Charges-Uniform Practice
Classification Inconsistencies—Necessity of Audit-Trans-
portation as a Commodity-F. O. B. Sales versus Delivered
Costs—Legal Obligations.

Practically everything to have value must be moved from places of abundance to places of shortage or demand. Traffic work or traffic management is concerned with this distribution, effecting it by the most expeditious means and at the least expense.

The increasing importance of adequate transpor tation facilities, the intelligent employment of those available for use, and common-sense railway regulation are issues vital to the hour.

The solution of these questions can be accomplished only by a recognition of the fact that the success of each of the several factions concerned, the railroad, the shipping public, and the government, is to a great degree contingent on the success of the others. In the past the shipping public and those concerned with the operation of our railroads have resembled hostile camps, with a public utility commission acting as the vacillating ally first of one faction and then of another.

Fortunately, the “public-be-damned" type of rail. road official, the "soak-the-railroad" type of shippers, and the narrow-minded, nonprogressive public utility commissioner are types that are rapidly disappearing. They are no longer welcome in the forum of modern business efficiency. Rapidly supplanting these types is the broad-minded and progressive technically trained man who rigorously demands his own rights and respects those of opposing interests.

The bigger men in the industrial traffio field do not look upon the transportation companies as private interests separate from their own, to be exploited at will. Instead, they now regard them as a plant auxiliary or affiliated industry, to be maintained and administered with an efficiency that will enable them to assemble and distribute the wares of industry with a minimum amount of inconvenience and expense.

This new attitude has resulted in creating a new profession, that of scientific traffic management. From the proficient graduates of this school must come the needed reforms in the greatest transportation machine that has ever been developed in the history of the world.

The title of “traffic manager” has been a much used, and at the same time a much abused, title. This abuse is not confined to the general public, but in many cases the traffic manager himself is ignorant of what his title implies.

In the minds of many, for example, the industrial traffic manager must be an ex-railroad man of more or less thoro training, who has a somewhat superficial knowledge of freight rates, some familiarity with packing requirements and classification rules, and the ability to audit freight bills with more or less exactitude.

This view is entirely too superficial and even incorrect. Many of the foremost traffic men are those who have had no previous railroad connections. The value of practical training of this kind is not to be discounted, but the idea or suggestion that it is a controlling factor is to be combatted vigorously.

In an address before a chamber of commerce, a speaker made this very significant statement:

The business which rates its traffic manager as a statistical clerk or as a glorified truckman is hopelessly behind the times ; and so long as the need of a traffic manager is based upon the idea that a rather limited knowledge of traffic is all that is essential, that the location of an occasional overcharge on a freight bill, or the collection of a few loss and damage claims is all that is required, the work and necessity of a traffic manager have not been recognized or appreciated.

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Big problems require the efforts of big men. Let us consider the magnitude of the plant that confronts the traffic manager of to-day.

The population of the United States is estimated to be in excess of 100,000,000, distributed over land area of approximately 3,000,000 square miles. To appreciate the vastness of this land area, comparisons are

are essential. Austria-Hungary does not cover the state of Texas. France is contained within the states of Arizona and Utah.' Belgium accounts for a small corner of the state of California, while Germany does not equal the area of the Central Freight Association and the Trunk Line Freight Association rate territories.

According to recent figures there are approximately 132,000 post offices in this country, which are classified according to population as follows:

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A great many of the points indicated as post offices are, from a transportation standpoint, designated as "inland stations” because they are not reached directly by a transportation line. It is roughly estimated that 90,000 places are served by railroad or other transportation companies.

The census shows 46.3 per cent of our population as urban residents, the remainder–53.7 per cent, as rural population. Urban centers are not self-sustaining; that is to say, they rely wholly or in part on the rural districts for the absolute necessities of life.

It has been stated that were New York, Chicago, Boston, or any other large city deprived of its means of communication with the interior, the pinch of hunger would be felt within seventy-two hours and that within a week famine would stalk rampant. The fuel shortages, heatless Mondays, recently experienced in this country, followed not so much in consequence of a shortage in production, but in consequence of a breakdown of the transportation machines, the shortage of cars and motive power, and an unusually rigorous winter.

Binding together these rural and urban centers, the greatest transportation system ever known has come into existence. Giant cars of 40 to 100 tons capacity and monster locomotives transport incredible quantities of stuffs across the continent at a surprising speed, thus annihilating distance, and placing the extremes of the country in close communication with each other. This gigantic plant consists of 250,000 miles of steel rails, 67,000 locomotives, and over two million cars.

Connected with the actual operation of this plant, there is a vast army of workers. The figures of the Interstate Commerce Commission for the year ended June 30, 1916, show that the railroad companies paid a sum exceeding $1,403,000,000 to more than 1,654,000 employees. Reckoning with these workers of allied industries such as railway supply manufacturers, car and locomotive builders, coal miners, lumber men and the like, it is stated that one person out of every fifteen of our adult population is directly or indirectly dependent upon the success of the transportation industry for his or her livelihood.

The labor cost of the transportation industry is gigantic. More than forty cents out of every dollar that the railroad companies receive for transportation is paid out by them in the form of wages to employees.

By means of collective bargaining, employees of the operating department, such as engineers, firemen,

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