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information, i.e., current prices f.o.b. American ports, and approximate shipping and other charges to distribution centers of Hong Kong or Shanghai, the local merchant is in a position to know at once if business is possible.

On the other hand, when no information as to price is given, he has every reason to conclude that the writer is not prepared to make shipments, and it may be depended upon that unless the product is greatly in demand and unobtainable anywhere, he will not be sufficiently interested by the letter to make inquiry.

It may be remarked that very generally American firms when stating prices quote an f.o.b. Atlantic or Pacific coast port price. They should remember, however, that the prospective importer is interested only in the cost of goods delivered. Therefore, the exporter, whenever possible, should attempt to give that information as fully as he can under present conditions. Such efforts will be appreciated and will create confidence in the firm's desire for foreign business.

SALESMEN'S CHARTS

Indeed, many of the progressive industrial concerns equip their field and sales representatives with vestpocket editions of rate tabulations on their offering which enable them to quote intelligently an approximate rate of freight from shipping point to destination.

The forms illustrated in Fig. 20 and Fig. 21 are taken from such a rate book, furnished the sales representatives of a large eastern house. Its use proved an effective lever in influencing sales.

It is prepared in loose-leaf form so that in the event of change, a corrected page may be sent to all the representatives in a given locality, acquainting them with the change and enabling them to inform

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FIG. 20.-Vest-Pocket Rate Guide Form A

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FIG. 21.-Vest-Pocket Rate Guide Form B

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the trade so that they may take advantage of the lower rate.

RATE CLERK

Qualifications The significance of this title in this instance is the broad type of employee who has acquired, thru experience or other technical training, a comprehensive insight into rate-making methods, existing rate structures, classification principles, classification procedure before classification committees and rate associations, and a comprehensive knowledge of the Act to Regulate Commerce.

He should be acquainted with the rulings of the Interstate Commerce Commission bearing on transportation charges and schedules. Above all, he should have the ability to see thru a tariff and not necessarily be convinced of the finality or legality of a statement or rule so long as there is a remote possibility of discrimination in its application.

Duties

His time, for the most part, should be occupied in the study of new schedules and supplements to existing publications as they are received. The object of this study is to develop such reductions in rates as are applicable on the firm's traffic, and to defer shipments, when possible, in the event of reductions in rates, so that the firm and its patronage may avail themselves of the saving in transportation costs. Concerning advances, he should determine the propriety of such advance, and see that existing contracts or

contemplated purchases are adjusted with respect to the increased transportation charges.

He should also be a court of last resort for the quotation clerk and loss and damage investigator in the matter of intricate rate problems that may confront them from time to time.

In the preparation of graphs, tariff citations, and other essential grounds of proof in rate cases, he is a potent factor in the efficiency of the department, especially in those instances where discriminatory practices or charges of the carrier are brought to public utility commissions for review.

Another valuable service that may be rendered by this employee is the preparation of a map or chart indicating in outline the several states of the Union, the location of competing houses, and the corresponding rates of freight to selected destinations thruout the country. Especially in lines where the margin of profit is small, either a readjustment of rates or a reduction in the selling price must offset any competitor's advantage.

RECORDS

The following record will prove advantageous to the quotation clerk, the loss and damage investigator, and the rate clerk. In a card index, the states are arranged alphabetically, and under each state are given the towns to which rates have been quoted, preferably those which occasioned considerable difficulty and loss of time in the construction of the rates. The opportunity for needless repetition will be considerably minimized if the factors are entered on a card and filed in the index for subsequent reference.

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