eGov/Mil Newsletter: March 27, 2015
In this Issue:
- No Shipment Refusals for 2015
- SDDC Peak Season Message
- SDDC Releases Volume Moves Out of Korea
- When to expect rules on e-logs, speed limiters and Safety Fitness Determination
- SDDC Offers Advice for Summer Moves
- DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes
- Obama Puts Drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan on Hold
- Registration Open for Regional IAM & ILN Meeting in Belfast
- The clock is ticking... The time to pay your company's IAM member dues invoice IS NOW. Don't be on the list of unpaids
Minutes after the release of our last eGov/Mil Newsletter on Mar. 13, the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) officially announced that they would not allow shipment refusals in the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) during the 2015 peak season.
SDDC has allowed shipment refusals during the last four peak seasons so this decision came as a huge surprise to most DP3 service providers.
It appears the reasoning behind this decision is focused on the inability to add a much-needed enhancement to the Defense Personal Property System (DPS). In recent years, the increase in shipment refusals during the peak season has caused added workload at the Department of Defense (DOD) Personal Property Shipping Offices (PPSO). When shipments were refused they moved back to the PPSO for action in DPS. The PPSO were forced to manually push those refused shipments to the next Transportation service Provider (TSP) in line for a shipment award. The extra workload caused the military services to ask for a system enhancement that would automatically push a refused shipment to the next TSP. The services have been waiting for that update to be released into DPS for more than two years.
The SDDC decision to no longer allow refusals during peak season forces TSPs to use only the DPS “blackout” functionality to manage their shipment volumes and is a way to move the elevated workload off of the PPSOs and on to industry.
Since first learning of SDDC’s intention to no longer allow refusals, the IAM staff has worked to convince SDDC that they were making a serious mistake. In 2010, the first full year of the DP3 program, refusals were not allowed. That turned out to be one of the most difficult peak seasons in recent memory. During 2010 capacity problems, service failures and shipment turnbacks became the norm rather than the exception. For those reasons, shipment refusal were instituted and have been in place ever since.
IAM believes that even though the industry has learned a great deal about working in DP3 since 2010, and the blackout functionality has been enhanced somewhat, huge problems loom on the horizon for the summer of 2015. Without the ability to refuse shipments, TSPs will blackout with greater frequency and in larger areas in order to protect themselves from being overwhelmed with traffic. This then raises huge concerns with the amount of capacity that will be available to move DOD shipments. Will DOD have what it needs to get their people moved? This is a huge question and one that we will only know the answer to when the summer has played itself completely out.
There is also a question of whether or not this decision will in fact reduce the PPSO workload. If capacity is significantly reduced and PPSO struggle to get all of their shipments booked, they will be forced to use alternative methods to book shipments, and that can be labor intensive. There is a strong possibility that there will not be a reduction in the PPSO workload but a shift away from working with the shipment refusals to spending more time in finding TSPs to service shipments in areas that are completely blacked out.
The other change in SDDC philosophy that is raising questions is the lack of change in the short fuse shipment criteria. The last few summers have seen an enhancement of the short fuse shipment criteria from five to 10 days during the busiest part of the summer. SDDC has indicated they will not be making that change. It seems that there is not complete agreement within industry as to whether that will have a negative or positive effect.
Some within industry feel this is positive, as more shipments will be distributed using the planned best value distribution system. Others feel that during the peak there is a need for a longer time period to operationally plan for these types of shipments and it allows shipments that DOD has not been able to book into an arena where TSPs with available capacity can review them.
The capacity concerns are valid and have been raised to SDDC but possibly even mover concerning was the timing for these announcements. The announcement that shipment refusal would not be allowed was made on the same day that the 2015 rate filing was scheduled to end. TSPs did not have any opportunity to consider these variables in their rate determination process. IAM feels this is a dangerous precedent to set and for that reason, above all other concerns, has raised the issue to SDDC’s higher headquarters, the U.S. Transportation Command (USTC).
IAM wrote a formal letter to the Deputy Commander of USTC on Mar. 20 addressing our concerns. As of yet we have not received a response to our communication.
IAM has also addressed this issue via our social media outlets. Charles White, IAM Senior Vice President, wrote on March 18, “No Shipment Refusals…. It’s a Done Deal”, in the IAM Social Café. IAM President Terry Head wrote “DOD’s Mission Failure – shifting the pain to industry” on Mar. 19 on the IAM Social Café.
The issue of SDDC not allowing shipment refusals could have serious ramifications for the success of the 2015 peak season. All IAM members need to educate themselves and ensure that they are comfortable with the use of the DPS blackout functionality. TSPs must make preparations and have a serious plan going into the summer so that they are not unexpectedly overwhelmed with unwanted bookings.
SDDC issued its annual peak season message on Mar. 25. There were some problems identified with the dissemination of the message and some TSPs have indicated that they did not receive it.
It is imperative that all DOD participants read this six-page message carefully. A number of major changes are outlined and emphasized for the 2015 peak season.
Peak season bookings will begin Friday March 27. That is when the Traffic Distribution Lists (TDL) will be made visible to both industry and the DOD Personal Property Shipping Offices at approximately 10:00 a.m. CST. There will be no time for TSPs to review their TDL placements in advance of the peak season (May 15 and beyond) shipment awards beginning. The awards for nearly 7000 shipments that are counseled and ready to be booked will begin immediately.
Sources: SDDC & IAM
SDDC issued 12 International Volume Moves (iVM) on Mar. 25. Included were six for Code J and six for Code 4, all originating out of Pyongtak, Korea (KS - QXAK). The specific details can be found in the message which can be found on the SDDC website.
A few questions have surfaced regarding these iVMs.
Question: Are TSPs to deliver to the Destination DPM contractor (warehouse to warehouse) or is this a "warehouse to residence" situation in which the shipments are going to be handled at destination by an approved DOD SIT warehouse/agent?
Response: "Warehouse to residence." Once the shipment is picked up, it is an ITGBL shipment and will need to be moved from the agent's port facility to the U.S. and delivered under ITGBL standards.
Question: On the household goods shipments, do the TSPs take control of the boxes (liftvans) after delivery?
Response: All boxes/liftvans that are used become the property of the TSP from the point of pick-up at the agent's port facility.
Question: A number of TSPs have questioned the Volume Move language regarding the per hundred weight (cwt) baseline rate adjustment that is needed to bid on these moves. What is the total baseline cwt adjustment that is necessary?
Response: The baseline adjustment is $5.00/cwt below a TSP’s filed rate in that channel. Then the TSP must file a rate below that adjustment to have the rate considered.
The issue of liability is still under discussion at SDDC. Will TSPs have to accept the full liability on the shipment or will it somehow be shared with the origin DPM contractor? We expect a follow-up response on this issue shortly.
We understand that further details will be disseminated. Look for additional information to be released by SDDC shortly.
Source: SDDC & IAM
In its March regulatory report, the Department of Transportation’s projected dates on major trucking regulations expected this year remained mostly unchanged.
Here are the dates the DOT and its Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration expect to publish significant rulemakings this year...
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Illinois (March 17, 2015) -- Preparation for the upcoming peak moving season for service members has begun and officials in charge of the Department of Defense's household goods moving program, the Defense Personal Property Program, want to remind everyone that the summer months can be a challenging time for moving.
The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's Personal Property Directorate is the DOD's executive agent and program administrator for the program. SDDC manages about 530,000 personal property shipments per year, of which about 240,000 moves are processed during the peak moving season which runs from May through August.
The Defense Personal Property Program, or DP3, has provided service members, federal employees, and their families with a higher quality move experience since November 2008. At that time, the program was reengineered into a more streamlined process of counseling and booking of personal property moves using the Defense Personal Property System, or DPS, which is accessed via the website Move.mil.
"We know moving can be a stressful time and we want them to know what they can do to help make the process go as smoothly as possible," said Navy Captain Aaron Stanley, director of SDDC's Personal Property Directorate. "We're reaching out to remind folks what they can do to help us help them."
There are two ways customers can submit their application for a government move.
The first is the traditional visit to the local installation Personal Property Shipping Office (PPSO) to receive a relocation briefing and start the move process. In many cases, the PPSO may provide computer terminals or assist customers with creating their application in DPS, which is a critical component the customer will need to access throughout the move.
The second way is for the customer to use DPS, which is accessed through the website, Move.mil. Move.mil is the portal for DPS and the one-stop shop where customers can manage their entire move process without ever visiting a PPSO.
According to Daniel Martinez, branch chief of the Personal Property Directorate's Quality Assurance Division, the keys to making a peak season move go smoothly are diligent planning, attention to detail and flexibility.
"Planning ahead can help reduce many of the stressors associated with moving; and this year, we want to remind people the key is for you to start planning as soon as you know you'll be changing duty assignments. It is critical that customers create their move application as soon as they receive their military orders. Any delays in submitting their application, whether in person or via the web-based DPS can make it more difficult for the transportation office to meet their requested pick up date. Customers still need their PCS orders before finalizing DPS self-counseling, but starting their DPS application as soon as possible after receiving their assignment notification is key," added Martinez.
SDDC offers Moving Tips
- Three key factors ensuring a less stressful move during the peak season are early diligent planning, attention to detail and flexibility.
- Once you get orders, immediately start your moving process for a better chance to lock in your preferred pickup and delivery dates.
- Create a personal move calendar with checklists, phone numbers, dates, and important web links.
- Ask questions early. Accessing DPS places you in direct contact with your commercial carrier to manage your personal property move. It is extremely important to keep your phone number and e-mail address updated so that you can be contacted if changes arise with your shipment.
- Requested pickup and delivery dates are not confirmed until you and your commercial carrier mutually agree on the actual pack and pick up dates.
- Pack, pickup and delivery dates are normally scheduled on weekdays. You or your designated representative must be available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Longer hours may be required in some cases.
- After your move is completed, please take a few minutes to answer and submit the seven question Customer Satisfaction Survey. This survey currently accounts for 70 percent of each Transportation Service Provider's performance score. By submitting your CSS, you play a direct role in keeping quality movers in the program and identifying poor performers.
- When possible, do not ship small, extremely valuable items such as stocks, bonds, jewelry, coins/coin collections and/or gold bullion (bars). If shipping high value items, keep them visible until the high value inventory sheet and inventory are prepared.
- Customers using the Move.mil portal for the first time will find online training videos and presentations explaining how to navigate through the move process. Customers should be aware that creating their application in the DPS system can present challenges, especially for first time users. Commonly cited issues include browser compatibility, locked accounts and unfamiliarity with navigating through the counseling module. Customers must use Internet Explorer 6/7/8, Firefox v3.6 and Safari v4.x for Windows XP/Vista/7; Unix/Linux, and Mac OS X. Changes to ETA, the Electronic Transition Acquisition system, now allow customers to reset their passwords.
- Answers to many Move.mil portal questions and help for DPS can be found on the website under "FAQs," however, members can also contact the System Response Center help desk at (800) 462-2176 or 618-220-SDDC; https://www.sddc-srchelpme.com/ or send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org, if they need additional help.
Moving in the summer months is extremely busy, with Memorial Day to Independence Day being the busiest part of the peak season. Since requested pickup and delivery dates may not be available during this time, flexibility is key, and building extra time into your schedule for unforeseen circumstances is recommended.
"If a customer has questions about their household goods move or needs help that isn't posted on the Move.mil website, the installation PPSO can direct them to various resources," Martinez said. "Based on the customer's branch of service, assistance could also come from a household goods call center, a specific PPSO or from SDDC's Systems Response Center if the issue requires DPS technical assistance."
For those who experience technical problems while using DPS, the System Response Center help desk is there to help. Call (800) 462-2176 or 618-220-SDDC, or send an email message to email@example.com.
Benefits in DP3 include full replacement valuation for damaged or lost household goods at no additional cost to customers; on-line claims filing and direct claims settlement between customers and commercial carriers; best value acquisition of transportation services (through a combination of rate and performance evaluations); improved communications between customers, commercial carriers and military personal property offices; and a Web-based entitlement counseling option.
Fuel Surcharge for Period 3/15/15 to 4/14/15
The price of fuel was $2.94 per gallon as reported on Monday, February 2, 2015 making the upcoming FSC rates for the period 2/15/15 through 3/14/15 as follows:
GBL Domestic HHG / International HHG – 4%
GSA Domestic HHG – $0.00
GSA International HHG and BAG – $0.00
NOTE – You are reading correct above. There is no fuel surcharge applicable for the specified period. The baseline rate that is used to calculate the fuel surcharge adjustment is $2.999. With the reported cost of fuel now below that baseline amount, a fuel adjustment does not apply.
Sources: IAM, AMSA & SDDC
President Obama on Tuesday announced the U.S. will delay the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan to help Kabul fight the Taliban, ISIS and other extremist forces.
About 9,800 American troops will remain in the country through 2015, almost double the number initially planned. Obama said he remains committed to reducing the U.S. troop presence to a small number based in the capital of Kabul by the end of next year.
** Editor’s Note: IAM’s Director of Government & Military Relations will participate in this meeting and hold a session related to current U.S. Government and Military issues. The recent announcement regarding the U.S. DOD plans to close it operations at RAF Mildenhall and consolidate many other European operations will be a key discussion item.
IAM is hosting a Regional Meeting in conjunction with the British Association of Removers (BAR) Annual Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland May 18-20, 2015. The Regional Meeting will include business sessions and networking opportunities for IAM members and the IAM Logistics Network (ILN). Space will be limited and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Response and space availability will determine the number of attendees.
Before You Register:
- Cost: The cost to attend the meeting is 520.00 GBP, which includes hotel accommodations for three nights (May 18, 29, and 20) and several meals over the course of three days.
- Accommodations: The conference hotel is Hotel Europa in Belfast. Note: Your registration fee includes accommodations and books you as a Hotel Europa guest.
- Meeting Agenda: Review the meeting agenda for the IAM/ILN meeting
- Meeting Packages: On the registration site, you will see a number of packages for the BAR event, the IAM/ILN event, for both BAR and IAM/ILN and other add-ons.
- Attendees: See a combined list of BAR and IAM/ILN attendees.
- Registration: Register for the Regional IAM / ILN Meeting, on the BAR conference page. Note that when you reach the "Registration Items" screen, scroll down to see the "Full Package for IAM/ILN Seminar" with the corresponding price of 520.00 GBP. Select this item, or one of the choices below it that include add-on BAR events for additional cost.
BAR Conference: The BAR Annual Conference runs from May 21-23, 2015. As always, there will be a varied program of events combining the very best entertainment, business, and opportunities for socializing. BAR is extending a warm invitation to all IAM members to attend so those traveling to Belfast can experience two premier industry conferences in one location
The clock is ticking... The time to pay your company's IAM member dues invoice IS NOW. Don't be on the list of unpaids
During the first week of January, IAM mailed membership renewal notifications to all billing contacts, encouraging you to renew your company's IAM memberships on time and online — the fastest and easiest way to take care of business. Thank you to those of you who have done so.
If this is the first time you've paid online, you must request your login credentials. Just go to the login screen and follow the instructions for "New Customer." IAM will then email your company's login credentials to the email account on record in our database.
To pay membership dues online, using your username and password, go to: the account login page. Once you log in, click on your name and this will take you to the self-service portion of the website. From there, click on “pay open membership invoices” and follow the prompts to renew online.
If you have forgotten or do not have your user name and password, you can retrieve your information.
If you need assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate your support and are always here to assist you.