Look Back to 2015, Look Forward into 2016

January 21, 2016

By Debbie Stadtler

As the books are closed on 2015 and we start the business of 2016, IAM looks back at its successes last year and offers a look ahead into the issues and trends of this new year.


IAM finished 2015 in great shape financially. This was attributable to membership growth and retention, a staff focus on cost containment, and a very successful Annual Meeting. We anticipate a healthy year financially in 2016 and are planning on efficient and thoughtful use of your membership dollars.


Membership growth and retention was higher than expected in 2015 and IAM anticipates a strong year in 2016. The IAM Young Professionals group is a particular bright spot, gaining its 400th member in 2015.

Annual Meeting:

The 2015 IAM Annual Meeting in San Diego counted 1,787 in attendance. Networking, education sessions, and social functions combined for a successful meeting for all attendees. Excitement is high for the 2016 Annual Meeting in the great city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Mark your calendars now for October 21-24, 2016!


IAM places a high value on communication with members. We use many vehicles to accomplish this: The Portal magazine, web site, Social Café, e-newsletters, and social media. In 2015, IAM partnered with advertising consultants to offer an expanded menu of advertising options in those communication channels. A new media kit was developed and a fresh look given to the YP and ILN e-newsletters for 2016.

The Country Guides continue to be the most visited section of the IAM website. New features, such as the IAM News RSS feed and Military Resource page, are being added to increase value for IAM members.

The IAM Membership Directory was published in 2015 as a downloadable PDF. This offered several benefits, like search capabilities and web/email links, over a paper copy.

Receivable Protection Program (RPP):

Starting on January 1, 2015, all Core and Governing Members were automatically enrolled in the RPP. If an IAM Core and Governing Member are owed money by another Core or Governing Member, it can request IAM to intervene to assist in the recovery of that debt. In the event that a debtor company goes out of business, IAM will compensate the member for the unpaid debt. This change provides your company with peace of mind when dealing with other IAM members because IAM is providing a financial safety net for these transactions.

ANSI/ISO Codification Project:

2015 was another positive step forward for IAM’s and the industry’s effort aimed at developing a global standard for inventory terminology and the electronic exchange data and information. Considerable effort has been expended seeking ISO approval of the standard, which we had hoped to achieve in 2015. Only one more balloting phase is needed to finalize this project.

Commercial Affairs Committee:

The IAM Commercial Affairs Committee focused in 2015 on three important issues.

  1. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) – IAM obtained answers from the FMC on frequently asked questions concerning the regulation of Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTIs).
  2. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – IAM obtained assurances from CBP that the distribution of client’s Personally Identifiable Information (PII) would be stopped following the re-programming of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) during the first quarter of 2016.
  3. International Maritime Organization (IMO) – A new regulation aimed at better securing the entire container supply chain by lessening the number of accidents caused by incorrectly weighed and misdeclared containers will require both the vessel and terminal operators to use verified container weights in vessel stowage plans. If containers do not have verified weights, the vessel operator and marine terminal operators will be prohibited from loading the packed container and it will not be shipped. IAM continues to monitor and educate the membership on this impending regulation, which is likely to have far-reaching impacts on how IAM Members conduct business upon implementation on July 1, 2016. Read more about this regulation here.

IAM Logistics Network (ILN):

Membership in the ILN grew in 2015 and more growth is expected in 2016. The new LogBoard is available on the Social Café to exchange best practices and business opportunities. In March 2016, an IAM/ILN Regional Meeting will be held in Singapore in conjunction with the Combined Logistics Network Annual Meeting.

Hall of Honor:

In 2015, IAM welcomed Hans Gerzymisch, James W. Westbrook, and Lars Lykke Iversen into the Hall of Honor. The call for nominations for 2016 Hall of Honor inductees opened on January 1, 2016. Nominations can now be submitted directly on the IAM website. The deadline is April 1, 2016.

IAM Data Collection and Analytics Working Group:

In today’s data and information driven economies, the ability to collect and interpret data is an essential skill. Having followed these trends and recognizing our industry’s need to accurately capture industry specific data, IAM convened a Working Group. The Working Group’s mandate is to determine if IAM should establish a process for the collection and analysis of relevant data with the aim of benefiting both the organization’s membership and the international moving/relocation industry as a whole. The aim of IAM’s initiative would be to identify overall, as well as regionally specific industry trends, glean and disseminate knowledge gained through targeted data analysis, and to ultimately quantify the true size of the global moving and relocations market. Still in its preliminary stages, the Working Group’s initial focus is on standardization and facilitating a collaborative effort between subject matter experts, software providers, and industry to identify and develop the methodology needed to advance this initiative.

Military Affairs:

IAM provided a crucial voice for the international moving industry in several areas in 2015. Further work in 2016 is anticipated to ensure the needs and interests of US and international members are represented in the following issues.

  1. Household Goods Channeling Concept Pilot – HUGE WIN! IAM attacked this proposal on numerous fronts and was able to forestall the announced timeline for the Pilot.
  2. Intrastate Requalification – Another BIG WIN! This seemed to have been an initiative aimed at reducing the number of TSPs with approval to operate in the intrastate market.
  3. Changes in the approved collection processes for CSS and other issues dealing the CSS
  4. Minimum Performance Score – We continue to see the Minimum Performance Score rise even as the mean scores for the CSS have stabilized and, in some cases, have decreased in the last 12 months.
  5. Changes in rate filing timeline/mini-appeal periods
  6. Change in shipment refusal policy – 2015 brought forth a significant change in a policy that had been in place for the four previous Peak Seasons. SDDC decided AFTER RATES HAD BEEN FILED, to no longer allow shipment refusals during the 2015 Peak Season.
  7. DPS – Lack of system enhancements/development, performance issues, delayed schedules, leadership issues, and poor contractor performance continue to plague DPS. The key items planned for 2016 are the stand up of WebMethods, Seibel Open UI, and short fuse click count fixes.
  8. Short Fuse shipments – These shipments continue to run at between 20 and 25% of the total DPS shipment volume (higher at times in Peak Season).
  9. Sale of DOD approved entities – The market for the buying and selling of DOD approved entities appears to remain robust. The issue is the roadblocks and the barriers that SDDC seems to be placing in the way for transactions to move forward.
  10. Change in classification for crated HHGs in the LTL market – In September of 2015 a classification change was finalized. Crated HHG was changed from Class 100 to Class 150 with no valuation change.
  11. Base Access – The key issue being work by OSD is standardizing the use of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) for access to military installations. The Services continue to put roadblocks in place regarding the adoption of the TWIC as a generally accepted identification.
  12. Custom Broker fees for customs clearance of alcohol shipments – Another of the big wins for the industry in 2015 was the final acceptance by SDDC that Custom Broker fees associated with the customs clearance of alcohol should be covered by the government and not accountable to a TSP.
  13. Proposed resurrection of the Claims Score – There is a chance that a Claim Score element should be resurrected and added back into the BVS.
  14. Assorted other issues faced by the industry in 2015 – Other issues included MV Courage fire, increased use of Code 2, port congestion Issues, foreign flag waivers, and old NTS payment issues.

IAM will continue to work diligently for the industry’s best interests in 2016, particularly in I-16/400NG issues, Open Season, and the Household Goods Channeling Concept Pilot. Several personnel changes in 2015 will be another challenge to overcome as well.

Story Prepared by Debbie Stadtler >