Administrative Law – Procedure – Primary Jurisdiction to Determine Illegality of Contract Under Shipping Act

Plaintiff, an independent shipper, sought review of a Federal Maritime Board order approving under section 15 of the Shipping Act an association’s dual-rate contract system found to be “a necessary competitive measure to offset the effect of non-conference competition.” The court pf appeals set aside the Board’s order on grounds that the system was prohibited by section 14 Third of the same act. On certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, held, affirmed, three justices dissenting. A dual-rate contract system found by the FMB to be designed to meet outside competition is a “resort to other discriminatory or unfair methods” to stifle such competition in violation of section 14 Third, and is therefore illegal per se. Federal Maritime Board vs. Isbrandtsen Co., 356 U.S. 481 (1958).