eGov/Mil Newsletter: June 5, 2014

June 05, 2014

In this Issue:

  • Changes Abound at SDDC
  • SDDC Re-emphasizes Requirements for Billing BSC on Alaska Shipments
  • More US Base Consolidations on the Way in Europe
  • News from the Daycos Weblog
  • DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes
  • US Postpones 100 percent Container Scanning

Changes Abound at SDDC

In recent weeks SDDC has issued a number of messages signaling changes in the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) in general and the 2014 Peak Season in particular.

One of the most recent changes seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. SDDC had previously announced that it planned to change the criteria used to determine what is considered a "short fuse" shipment on June 16. After receiving some recent requests from the military services to initiate the change earlier, SDDC issued a message to industry on Friday, May 23, with very little warning, that the change in short fuse criteria would take place immediately. The message indicated that as of May 23 any "shipment awarded with requested pick up dates of 10 business days or less will be considered short fuse. NOTE: the day a PPSO awards the shipment will count as the first short fuse day."

Initiating the start of the extended short fuse window early was not totally unexpected. SDDC initiated the window one week earlier than they had announced in 2013. What was unexpected was the lack of advance notice and the fact that the 10-day window was started a full THREE weeks earlier than had originally been planned. SDDC's stated goal for the change was to "offset the increasing numbers of shipment refusals, reduce rebooking efforts at the PPSO level, and allow TSPs time to coordinate resources."

Another unexpected change came in the form of the issuance of Change 1 to the 2014 400NG tariff. SDDC had talked about clarifying a number of items in the 400NG but had not signaled that the issuance of a change was imminent.

The one disconcerting issue surrounding the change was that it was posted to the SDDC website on May 27 but has an effective date of May15, and also indicates it was "Updated" on May 10. This raises questions regarding the EXACT date for when any changes became effective.

On May 22 SDDC issued a clarification to an earlier message regarding the "Management Roles/Outsourcing International TSP Responsibilities." The message had been expected, but it surprised some within industry as it provided that SDDC was in the process of incorporating all changes relating to TSP outsourcing into a future version of SDDC Pamphlet 55-4, but that it would not enforce the changes until the 2015 rate cycle (15 May 2015 through 14 May 2016.)

The message further indicated that this was done to "give TSPs an opportunity to modify their existing business processes if necessary."

This long delay in the implementation of the previously announced restrictions on the complete outsourcing of transportation functions by International TSPs was a bit unexpected.

Change seems to be the key word for Peak Season 2014. It will be interesting to see what other changes may be in store in the coming months.

Editor's Note: This item was posted in the IAM Social Cafe on Thursday, May 29. Be sure to check the Social Café every day for the latest DOD/Government news.

Source: IAM & SDDC


SDDC Re-emphasizes Requirements for Billing BSC on Alaska Shipments

On June 3, SDDC issued the following message which re-emphasizes the requirements needed on an Ocean Bill of Lading (OBL) to allow Transportation Service Providers (TSPs) to properly invoice for Bunker Surcharges (BSC):

SDDC-PP ADVISORY 14-0070

FROM: SDDC-PP SCOTT AFB, IL

To: Military Service Headquarters Representatives, Worldwide Personal Property
Shipping Offices (PPSOs), and Department of Defense (DOD) Approved
Transportation Service Providers (TSPs)

SUBJ: Validation of Bunker Surcharge (BSC) Ocean Bills of Lading (OBL)

1. All domestic shipments moving to/from Alaska and the Lower 48 states, including the District of Columbia, may be authorized reimbursement of BSC. NOTE: Shipments utilizing the Alaska-Canadian (ALCAN) Highway are not entitled to BSC reimbursement. PPSOs must validate the invoices for these shipments to determine whether payment meets the requirements outlined in the Defense Personal Property Program Domestic 400NG-2014 Tariff, Item 227. Any invoiced BSC must meet the following conditions. The OBL invoice must show:

a. Individual BSC (some OBLs list "fuel surcharge", or "FSC") for each government bill of lading (GBL) shipment listed on the invoice;

b. Total BSC for all GBL shipments on the OBL;

c. Net weight of the individual GBL shipment(s);

d. Net weight of the total GBL shipment(s); and

e. Sail date.

2. The OBL must be from the actual Ocean Carrier. No other parties (i.e., third party or freight forwarders) will be accepted.

3. PPSOs must dispute any invoice that does not meet the above requirements, pending TSP's submission of an acceptable OBL. PPSOs must also ensure the OBL lists the BSC as being from Port to Port only (i.e., Port of Anchorage to Tacoma, WA). Port to Door BSC (i.e., Port of Anchorage to St. Louis, MO) must be disputed unless the OBL has the Port to Port BSC listed and calculated separately from the Port to Door BSC.

4. Please email functional questions to army.sddc.safb.ppratesdom@mail.mil.

5. This message was approved for release by Ms. Jill Smith, Chief, Business Processes and Systems Integration Division, HQ SDDC.

Source: SDDC & IAM


More US Base Consolidations on the Way in Europe

June 4, 2014

STUTTGART, Germany -- Recommendations for more base closures and consolidations in Europe will be submitted to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a matter of weeks as part of an ongoing effort to shed unneeded facilities on the Continent, according to the Defense Department.

Last month, the Pentagon announced it will close 21 outdated facilities in Europe -- mainly housing and recreation complexes -- for an annual savings of $60 million. But that is just the start, with the next round of closures expected to take aim at actual military installations as part of the European Infrastructure Consolidation review -- a "BRAC-like" analysis launched more than a year ago.

The primary "capacity analysis," which involves recommendations from each service on ways to consolidate in Europe, is expected to be on Hagel's desk within two months, if not earlier, according to a Defense Department official.

The study, which began well before Russia's recent intervention in Ukraine, comes at an awkward time for the military. On the one hand, the Pentagon wants to find efficiencies and demonstrate to Congress a willingness to downsize overseas. Lawmakers have long asserted that Europe bases should be cut before even discussing the possibility of unpopular base closures on U.S. soil. At the same time, Russia's actions in Ukraine has complicated downsizing plans as the U.S. and its allies contend with what Gen. Philip Breedlove, the top U.S. commander in Europe, has called a new security paradigm on the Continent.

"The events in Ukraine have changed the assumptions underlying European security," Breedlove, NATO's supreme allied commander, said last month. "NATO must undergo a strategic adaptation to address Russia's use of snap exercises, cyberactivities and covert operations to achieve their state objectives. With this fundamental change is our security environment, we must transform."

Russia's annexation of Crimea has been a source of particular angst in former Warsaw Pact states particularly in Poland, where leaders have indicated a desire for a permanent U.S. presence in the country. Breedlove said NATO shouldn't rule out positioning forces in eastern Europe in an effort to realign alliance military power closer to potential hot spots.

However, a budget-challenged Pentagon is faced with the difficult, and perhaps contradictory, task of showing a renewed commitment to European security in the face of a more assertive Russia while simultaneously shrinking the size of its footprint in Europe.

John Deni, a professor at the U.S. Army War College and expert on the military mission in Europe, says the U.S. should be cautious about giving up too much real estate in connection with any base realignment.

"There might be some room for consolidation, but that needs to be weighed against the fact that we diminish our strategic flexibility," Deni said. "Once we close a facility we are never getting it back and we have no way of predicting what future crises might be and where you need them. If there is room for consolidation it will be on the margins of what we have left."

An increased reliance on rotational forces in Europe could be one way to offset a smaller permanent forward presence or reduced network of bases. On Tuesday, the White House announced that President Barack Obama would seek $1 billion from Congress for a new "European Reassurance Initiative," which would aim to increase troop rotations on the Continent and help train allies.

Meanwhile, it will likely be several months before final decisions on the base structure are announced publicly, given a bureaucratic process that involves coordination with respective host nations.

But there are already some indications of the direction DoD wants to go in areas of closure and consolidation. For instance, the department's 2015 budget request includes funding for a new intelligence center at RAF Croughton, England -- a move that would result in the closure of both RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth, according to budget documents. Those plans are on hold by Congress pending the conclusion of the Pentagon's consolidation review.

Others areas likely to be scrutinized are Army bases in Germany, which still account for most of the military footprint in Europe. Two garrisons -- one in Schweinfurt and one in Bamberg -- are already slated to close in the coming year. The U.S. Army's Baumholder garrison, which over the years has frequently been mentioned as a place for potential closure, could get a second look.

But while much remains unknown about the future base map in Europe, advocates for a strong forward presence in Europe say recent Russian aggression should be an argument against sweeping cuts and closures.

"For those that think we've cut enough from Europe, the timing is obviously helpful," Deni said."It makes sense to really take stock of where we are with the remaining force structure and infrastructure, but in the past, I think a lot of this has been budget-driven and not strategy-driven. I think this (crisis with Russia) reminds us we're still going to retain a strategic interest in Europe."

Source: Stars & Stripes


News from the Daycos Weblog

SDDC Releases Interim Billing Solution for 2014 400NG Shipments

As we come into a new rate cycle for DP3 invoices, experience has taught most of us to keep a close eye on the rating of the item codes that we are billing. This year SDDC has been quick to bring attention to early rating issues they have identified for shipments rated under the 2014 400NG. Last week, they issued the following advisory in response to those issues. The advisory indicates that an issue has been identified for linehaul, fuel surcharge and the origin and destination service charges.

Since the inception of the DP3 program we have seen a number of rating issues that typically slow down the payment of all or some of the charges being billed, so since this advisory has come out, TSPs have been asking how these issues might affect them. Although an issue has been identified with the linehaul and fuel surcharge rating incorrectly, these charges are overrating. This should not create a delay or issue for TSPs to be paid the amount they are due since the linehaul and fuel surcharge rates coming back from DPS are higher than what the TSP originally billed.

Conversely, the rating issue affecting the Origin and Destination Service Charge, Items 135A and 135B is underrating those items. Until the rating issue is resolved, full payment of those items may be delayed on the original invoice, requiring a supplemental invoice using the miscellaneous item code to recoup the short paid amounts.

SDDC-PP Advisory 14-0069

DATE: 30 May 2014

FROM: SDDC-PP SCOTT AFB, IL

TO: Military Service Headquarters Representatives, Worldwide Personal Property Shipping Offices (PPSO), and DOD-Approved Personal Property Transportation Service Providers (TSP)

SUBJ: Defense Personal Property System (DPS) Domestic Costing Interim Billing Solution for 2014 Shipments

1. This is a coordinated message between HQ SDDC and the Program Executive Office-TRANSCOM (PEO-T).

2. Errors have been identified in the DPS costing of invoices for shipments picking up after 15 May with 2014 rate cycle rates. The identified errors affect the costing of Linehaul Charge (LHS), Fuel Surcharge (FSC), Origin Service Charge (135A), and Destination Service Charge (135B). Below is guidance on each item affected and corrective action required.

a. LHS charges- DPS rating higher than TSP invoice
- No Action required by TSP or PPSO. Syncada will pay lower invoice cost of TSP. LHS Adjustment to match DPS cost should NOT be invoiced by TSP or approved by PPSO.

b. Fuel Surcharge- DPS rating higher than TSP invoice
- No Action required by TSP or PPSO. Syncada will pay lower invoice cost of TSP. FSC Adjustment to match DPS cost should NOT be invoiced by TSP or approved by PPSO.

c. Origin Service Charge (135A)- DPS rating lower than TSP invoice
- TSP Action Required. This error will cause the invoice to be placed in the Audit Exception Category in Syncada. TSPs will need to match the DPS Cost in Syncada for final payment processing. A supplemental invoice using the MISC item code (226A) for the difference between the initial TSP invoice and DPS costing will need to be created for payment owed to TSP. The MISC invoice must contain EDI notes referencing this PP Advisory and appropriate Item Code.

- PPSO Action Required- Review and Approval of supplemental MISC invoice.

d. Destination Service Charge (135B)- DPS rating lower than TSP invoice
- TSP Action Required. This error will cause the invoice to be placed in the Audit Exception Category in Syncada. TSPs will need to match the DPS Cost in Syncada for final payment processing. A supplemental invoice using the MISC item code (226A) for the difference between the initial TSP invoice and DPS costing will need to be created for payment owed to TSP. The MISC invoice must contain EDI notes referencing this PP Advisory and appropriate Item Code.

- PPSO Action Required- Review and Approval of supplemental MISC invoice.

3. SDDC AND PEO-T, are working to resolve and will continue to monitor invoicing daily. Update will be provided when a solution is identified or the situation changes. If you have any questions, please email the SDDC Billing Issues mailbox at: army.sddc.safb.billing@mail.mil or contact:
Mr. John Becker 618-220-5481
Mr. Danny Mathews 618-220-5256
Mrs. Ana Douglass 618-220-5454

4. This message is approved for release by CAPT Stanley, Director Personal Property, HQ SDDC

Source: Daycos News


DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes

Fuel Surcharge for Period 6/15/14 to 7/14/14

The price of fuel was $3.92 per gallon as reported on Monday, June 2, 2014 making the upcoming FSC rates for the period 6/15/14 through 7/14/14 as follows:

GBL Domestic HHG / International HHG- 11%

GSA Domestic HHG - $0.91

GSA International HHG and BAG - $0.91

GSA CHAMP Pre-Bid Meeting

Please mark your calendars and plan on joining us for our annual CHAMP RFO
Pre-Bid meeting:

When: August 6, 2014 at 1:00 PM EST

Where: GSA Headquarters, 1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC

Who: All approved CHAMP TSPs or those TSPs interested in CHAMP.

We will provide additional information and an agenda prior to the meeting, but wanted to get the date and time to you so that you could make plans to attend.

As we are still working on the agenda and the possible presenters, please contact Robyn Bennett at 816-823-3644 or robyn.bennett@gsa.gov if there is something specific you would like added to the agenda.

Thank you and hope to see you on August 6th!

Items from the June SDDC News "U" Can Use Newsletter

Peak Season Refusal Policy

SDDC allows unlimited refusals for shipments with pick up dates ranging from May 15 to July 31. We ask all Transportation Service Providers to utilize blackout capabilities where they have no capacity. TSPs are reminded to make every effort to refuse shipments in a timely manner, preferably within two to four hours after the shipment is awarded. Allowing shipments to "time out" at the 24-hour mark does not meet the intent of the unlimited refusal policy. TSPs who actively monitor their DPS queues, help facilitate the PPSO re-award process and enhance the program. SDDC will monitor shipment timeouts to ensure TSP actions remain in alignment with program needs.

Central Regional Storage Management Office Closure

The Central Regional Storage Management Office (RSMO) in Topeka, Kansas ceased operations effective May 19, 2014. Customers should now contact one of the following offices for assistance:

Western RSMO: (925) 246-4240
South East RSMO: (404) 469-5923
North East RSMO: (732) 866-2750

SDDC has begun staffing a new Storage Management Office at Scott Air Force Base, IL. The SMO will assume the responsibilities previously provided under the disestablished CRSMO area of operations effective June 2, 2014.

Pro-Gear Description On Inventory

Reminder for TSPs: please ensure the pro-gear description is listed on the inventory in accordance with DTR 4500.9-R, Part IV, Appendix B TOS, paragraph C(5)a. Simply marking an item as "pro-gear" does not adequately describe the item(s), or specify what pro-gear articles are contained in the carton(s). TSP compliance will help facilitate any/all actions the Government may have to take in verifying entitlements and reviewing inventories (e.g., considerations for lost weight tickets or items, adjudicating excess costs, etc.).

Defense Personal Property System Web Browser Limitations

Microsoft's Web browser, Internet Explorer versions IE10 and IE11 are not compatible with DPS. DPS users should use an older supportable version (i.e., IE8 or IE9), or another Web browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari. The DPS Program Management Office is planning a Siebel commercial off-the-shelf product upgrade in FY15 to enable support for the latest Web browser versions.

IAM News Feed now available

IAM members can now receive daily industry news stories via an RSS reader. Subscribe in your browser by clicking IAM's news feed; in your browser choose "Live Bookmarks," and select where you want the RSS bookmark to live (on the bookmark toolbar on in the bookmark menus).

You may also subscribe by email and receive a daily digest with up to three news items per day, by clicking this link and following the instructions given there.

If you have questions or need assistance, contact Carl.Weaver@IAMovers.org.

Source: IAM, GSA, USTC, NDTA, SDDC & Daycos News


US Postpones 100 percent Container Scanning

6-1-2014

Forwarders are not surprised by the latest US climbdown on controversial plans to introduce 100 per cent ocean container screening.

Peter Quantrill, director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), says it is "hardly surprising" to hear the news that the USA has delayed - for another two years - its demand that all cargo containers entering the USA must have been security scanned prior to departure from their origin stations.

The decision comes amid questions over whether the total scanning scheme is the best way to protect US ports.

Five years after Congress set a deadline requiring all US-bound shipping containers to be X-rayed overseas for nuclear weapons, US Customs officials now appear to have given up on the goal.

Screening 100 per cent of incoming containers would be nearly impossible to implement now, would cause huge delays and be less cost-effective than
focusing only on suspicious cargo, observers say.

More than 30,000 ocean containers arrive at US ports each day and many foreign ports are just not physically equipped to comply.

"As BIFA has said repeatedly, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has consistently underestimated the enormity of the task in hand relative to the costs both to the US government and to foreign governments as well as, importantly, the limited ability of contemporary screening technology to penetrate dense cargo, or large quantities of cargo in shipping containers," says Quantrill.

BIFA's comments are in response to a letter from Thomas Carper, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which suggested that the use of systems available to scan containers would have a negative impact on trade capacity and the flow of cargo.

Quantrill notes: "Media reports suggest that the US government now doubts whether it would be able to implement the mandate of 100 per cent scanning, even in the long term, and it would appear that it now shares BIFA's long-standing opinion that it is not the best use of taxpayer resources to meet the USA's port security and homeland security needs.

"We have always said that expanding screening with available technology would slow the flow of commerce and drive up costs to consumers without bringing significant security benefits."

BIFA says the US government should take an even bolder step - and repeal the original legislation.

"That would be the most appropriate way to address this flawed provision and allow the Department and industry to continue to focus on real solutions, including strengthened risk-based management systems to address any security gaps that remain in global supply chains."

Source: Air Cargo News