Opinion for the Court filed by Spottswood W. Robinson, III, Circuit Judge.
Spottswood W. Robinson, III, Circuit Judge:
May Trucking Company, the petitioner, challenges the grant by the Interstate Commerce Commission of a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing motor carrier operations by Anthony G. Ayala, the intervenor.
Ayala sought authority to carry specified commodities between points in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. May and fourteen other carriers noted their opposition, and the ensuing litigation has taken a
The administrative law judge and the Commission successively narrowed the scope of Ayala's certificate with respect to the commodities and territory involved. In the end, Ayala obtained authority to carry iron and steel products from Seattle, Tacoma and Portland to Spokane and points in Idaho and Montana; scrap metal from points in Idaho and Montana to Seattle, Tacoma and Portland; and hides from points in Montana to Seattle, Tacoma and Portland, as well as from points in Idaho except Nampa and Caldwell, to Seattle and Tacoma.
May challenges the grant insofar as it permits the hauling of iron and steel products from Portland to points in southern Idaho
To garner our approval, the Commission's decision must be supported by substantial evidence.
Ayala's presentation focused on asserted inadequacies of the service furnished by existing carriers — in particular, unacceptable delays and carrier disinclination to haul scrap metal because of accompanying damage to their equipment. The evidence certainly indicated that,
May argues, with considerable cogency, that while the data supplied by shippers supporting Ayala would have warranted approval of additional carriage to and from northern Idaho, the evidence is too sparse to sustain that outcome for southern Idaho.
We are satisfied, however, that there was substantial evidence to support the validity of the administrative law judge's generalization for southern Idaho as well as for other parts of the area certificated. To be sure, May has operating authority for southern but not northern Idaho, and thus an inference of need for service in southern Idaho exclusively from proof of deficient service in northern Idaho might be hazardously speculative. It must be remembered, however, that in fashioning operating authorities
To begin with, many of the carriers whose service in northern Idaho plainly was indicted also operated in the remainder of the state. It would not surpass reason to presume that their performance did not vary dramatically with a change in latitude. More importantly, this is not a case in which operating authority is extended over large territories without a shred of direct supporting evidence.
Sternoff Metals ships scrap primarily out of the Idaho panhandle. Sternoff attempts, however, to purchase that type of cargo all over the state, and it has had isolated shipments out of the south.
Sentry Automatic Sprinkler Company likewise was dissatisfied with the service available for shipment of its unassembled firesprinkler systems
Pacific Hide & Fur Company, a shipper of scrap metal, has among its principal sources Nampa and Salmon, two towns in southern Idaho.
Similarly, Myers Pacific ships iron and steel products from Seattle and Portland to Idaho. Regular shipments are made to Pocatello, in southern Idaho.
In short, while the evidence of need for and expected benefit from Ayala's proposed service in southern Idaho was far from compelling, it sufficed to support the Commission's decision on that score. Despite its weakness, we regard it as such that "a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion,"
With that, our inquiry shifts to the Commission's disposition of the question whether there would be any injury to May or other existing carriers outweighing the public benefits of Ayala's new service. May does not challenge the administrative law judge's findings that
May points out, however, that Ayala is also free to serve shippers who did not testify in his behalf, and that some of May's business would thus be vulnerable to diversion by Ayala. May documented its thesis with an
We are no more impressed by this argument than was the Commission, for it is largely beside the point. Competition frequently entails a loss of customers, but ordinarily it is in the public interest,
Injury to existing carriers through competition becomes relevant only when there is corresponding injury to the public. Congress designed the Interstate Commerce Act to benefit the people, not to create protected monopolies for those who profess to serve the public.
We thus find no error in the Commission's treatment of the application or in its disposition of the opposition thereto. The decision under review is accordingly
The earlier application was for essentially the same authority. It was initially granted but was later denied by the Commission. Anthony G. Ayala, 120 M.C.C. 500 (Rev.Bd.No. 1 1973), aff'd, Ayala v. United States, No. 74-1595 (W.D.Wash. Aug. 6, 1974) (unreported). Ayala introduced different evidence in support of his second application. Quite obviously, the failure to prove in one proceeding that the public convenience and necessity warrant new service does not mean that better evidence cannot suffice for a subsequent application. The Commission apparently has not imposed any rules precluding relitigation of issues of this type, and nothing in its governing legislation requires it to do so.
The issuer over the SBA loans, as posed by May, is whether the administrative law judge was prompted to grant the application because otherwise Ayala's business might fail and resultantly he might default on the loans. We need not pass on the propriety of such a course of reasoning. The judge explained that he considered the SBA loans only for purposes of ascertaining whether "Mr. Ayala is fit, willing, and able to conduct the proposed operations." Anthony G. Ayala, I.C.C. No. M.C.-135519 (Sub No. 5), at 36 (initial decision Oct. 29, 1975) (unreported) J.App. 47. We are afforded no ground for probing behind the stated rationale for some other unexpressed use of the information.