EXPRESS COMPANIES. Companies or ganized to carry small and valuable packag es expeditiously in such manner as not to subject them to the danger of loss and dam age which to a greater or less degree attends the transportation of heavy or bulky artieles of commerce. Southern Express Co. v. R. Co., 10 Fed. 213.
A common carrier that carries at regular and, stated times, over fixed and regular routes, money and other valuable packages, which cannot be conveniently or safely car ried as common freight ; and also other arti cles and packages of any description which the shipper desires or the nature of the arti cle requires should have safe and rapid transit and quick delivery, transpbrting the same in the immediate charge of its own messenger on passenger steamers and ex press and passenger railway trains, which it does not own or operate, but with the own ers of which it contracts for the carriage of its messengers and freights ; and within cities and towns or other defined limits, it collects from the consignors and delivers to the consignees at other places of business the goods which it carries. Pacific Exp. Co. v. Seibert, 44 Fed. 310. The right to use the facilities afforded by a railroad depends en tirely on contract; St. Louis, I. M. & S. R. Co. v. Express Co., 117 U. S. 3, 6 Sup. Ct. 542, 628, 29 L. Ed. 791. In St. Louis, I. M. & S. R. Co. v. Express Co., 117 U. S. 1, 6 Sup. Ct. 542, 628, 29 L. Ed. 791; it was held that a railroad company might make an ex clusive contract with a single express com pany, and this has been followed by many state courts ; but it is held that under the anti-trust laws such exclusive contract is not valid; State v. R. Co., 99 Tex. 516, 91 S. W. 214, 5 L. R. A. (N. S.) 783, 13 Ann. Cas. 1072.
They are common carriers ; Southern Ex press Co. v. Crook, 44 Ala. 468, 4 Am. Rep. 140; U. S. Express Co. v. Backman, 28 Ohio St. 144; notwithstanding a declaration in their bill of lading that they are not to be so considered; Bank of Kentucky v. Express Co., 93 U. S. 174, 23 L. Ed. 872; Christenson v. Express Co., 15 Minn. 270 (Gil. 208), 2 Am. Rep. 122.
In section 1 of the Railroad Rate Act (June 29, 1906), it is provided that the term "common carrier" in that act should include express companies; State v. Express Co., 171
Ind. 138, 85 N. E. 337, 19 L. R. A. (N. S.) 93, where it was said that congress has as sumed jurisdiction over interstate traffic by express down to the point where the transit is entirely at an end ; and a state statute re quiring such companies to make free deliver ies of parcels committed to their care was held void.
The Interstate Commerce Act and its amendments provide that the term "common carrier" as used in the act shall include ex press companies; U. S. Comp. St. Stat. Supp. 1911, 1285 ; and in an indictment of express companies under that act it was held that where a joint stock company did a general interstate express business and had filed a schedule of its rates with the Interstate Commerce Commission it was a quasi corpo ration and subject to indictment as a legal entity ; U. S. v. Am. Express Co., 199 Fed. 321.
See COMMON CARRIERS.
Like all other common carriers they must receive all goods offered for transportation, on being paid or tendered the proper charge; Jordan v. R. Co., 5 Cush. (Mass.) 69, 51 Am. Dec. 44 ; and if they cannot transport them within a reasonable time, must refuse them or be responsible for loss caused by the de lay ; Condict v. R. Co., 54 N. Y. 500; Tierney v. R. Co., 76 N. Y. 305; Illinois Cent. R. Co. v. Cobb, 64 Ill. 128. They may also refuse to receive dangerous articles for transporta tion; Parrot v. Wells, 15 Wall. (U. S.) 524, 21 L. Ed. 206; Boston & A. R. Co. v. Shan ly, 107 Mass. 568.
An express company insures the safe de-. livery of goods, received at the destination, if on its own route ; if not, safe delivery at the end of its route to the next carrier ; and will be relieved only by act of God or of the public enemy; Stephens & C. Transp. Co. v. Tuckerman, Milligan & Co., 33 N. J. L. 543 ; U. S. Exp. Co. v. Hutchins, 58 Ill. 44; South ern Exp. Co. v. Craft, 49 Miss. 480, 19 Am. Rep. 4 ; Babcock v. Ry. Co., 49 N. Y. 491; American Exp. Co. v. Bank, 69 Pa. 394, 8 Am. Rep. 268; Hadd v. Exp. Co., 52 Vt. 335, 36 Am. Rep. 757.