Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with John Thomas Outlaw, June 5, 1980. Interview H-0277. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Different factors influence trucking rates

Outlaw describes trucking rates. The value of the product, its density, and the distance it needed to be transported determined the cost.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with John Thomas Outlaw, June 5, 1980. Interview H-0277. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ALLEN TULLOS:
Again, because I don't know very much about all this, would there be rate differentials depending on what was being hauled in the truck, the difference between hauling, say, yarn and hauling finished apparel?
JOHN THOMAS OUTLAW:
Yes, surely. The basis for a rate is determined by any number of things, but just two or three of them: one would be the value of the product; and then the density of the product; and then the distance involved. So these are some of the basic things that determine the rate. We have what we call a national classification, and this national classification takes all the commodities that are moved—which is something well over 300,000 items—and instead of having a rate for each item of the 300,000 items, they classify these items. It's broken down on the basis of 100, and the rate gets broken down on the basis of first class, second class, third class, fourth class, fifth class, right on up. If an item of a value would fit into, say, the fifth class, then that item would be put under the fifth class. And the rate base there would be on a basis of mileage, and then the distance would be applied against that particular rate, and that's the way you would arrive at the total cost.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did that happen very early, these combinations of factors?
JOHN THOMAS OUTLAW:
Yes, it did, because otherwise it would have been impossible to keep track of all the thousands of items that move.