Peak seasons causes PCS challenges
By Col. Rose Ramirez, Personal Property Activity Headquarters commander
/ Published June 23, 2010
RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Some Defense Department customers may experience unexpected delays in household goods pick-up and delivery during this busy summer season. Families moving in the next 60 days should complete their counseling early, anticipate possible delays, give a minimum of three weeks notice and provide alternate pickup dates when possible.
The entire continental United States and all military services are experiencing industry cancellations, push back and refusals for government-arranged moves in some markets and delayed deliveries out of storage in others. From the information gathered, it's not just one issue at the root cause. Commercial reps are telling Surface Deployment and Distribution Command that long haul trucking capacity is down 10-20 percent over the last two years because of the economy and commercial moves (national accounts) are up 12 percent this year. The Joint Personal Property Shipping Office workload was also analyzed and outbound shipments are up 8.7 percent through May, so it appears government volume is up as well. A large number of carriers have blacked out the next several weeks, so the shipment volume is spread over a smaller pool of assets.
Industry reps said this is the cause for a shortage of equipment available to load/move our service members and not a local agent packing crew shortage. Unfortunately, local agents can't accept some shipments because they are out of warehouse space that is filled with shipments pending line haul transportation. The SDDC Commanding General is aware and working with industry to increase capacity.
The JPPSOs are working hard to head off issues and handle individual customer problems on a case-by-case basis. They are working through their list of options for each and will do everything possible to move DOD families on their requested pickup dates. JPPSOs are working hard to balance the customers' desires with industry realities.