eGov/Mil Newsletter: February 24, 2017

February 24, 2017

In this Issue:

  • 2017 DP3 Rate Filing Ends with Few Issues
  • JPPSO-MA (BGAC) Planning to Hold TSP Meeting on April 5
  • Household Goods Move Timelines Compressed Due to FY17 CR
  • IAM Shares Comments on 2017 Open Season Criteria with SDDC
  • Trump's plan for spike in defense spending faces big hurdles
  • FMCSA Delays New Driver Training Rule Because of Trump
  • DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes
  • IAM Military News and Resources Page
  • Air Force creates new CDL transition program
  • Truck, Bus Groups Ask Secretary Chao to Delay Safety Fitness Determination Rule
  • Infrastructure Legislation Back on Congress' Radar

2017 DP3 Rate Filing Ends with Few Issues

The 2017 rate filing process for the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) closed with relatively few issues. Most of the feedback received from the IAM membership would lead one to believe that this may be the most uneventful rate filing since the first year of the revamped U.S. Department of Defense moving program, almost eight years ago. Each year the process has been marred by problems causing significant delays. Though this year was not without a few minor issues, we believe the overall process should be deemed a success.

The Rate Filing was initially scheduled to end on Feb. 17 but was extended a single day due to technical issues with the Electronic Transportation Acquisition (ETA) platform. Those issues were quickly cleared up but the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) decided to add one day to the second round of the rate filing to ensure that all Transportation Service Providers (TSP) had the full amount of time promised to complete the process.

SDDC issued rate rejections following Round 2 on or about February 20/21. All rejections have now been issued so if a TSP has not received any rate rejection notifications by now, then all their rates were accepted.

Five days after the closing of rate filing, SDDC issued the following message:

SDDC-PP Advisory 17-0060

Date: 23 February 2017

From: AMSSD-PP, Scott AFB, IL 62225

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

Subject: Defense Personal Property System (DPS) Scheduled Outage for Shipment Awards to Build the Traffic Distribution List (TDL) for the New Rate Cycle (15 May 17 – 14 May 18)

1. Effective 1 March 2017 at 0900 Central Standard Time (CST) until Monday, 6 March at 0900 Central Standard Time (CST) DPS will be “unavailable” for awarding shipments. This outage is required to build the TDL for awarding shipments under the new rate cycle, which will be available for several additional days to allow industry to assess rankings, plan internal resources and capacity, and upload ranking and cost information to internal systems.

2. The outage “will not” affect other DPS abilities such as: the ability to counsel customers and perform other shipment management functions (e.g., routing shipments, managing pre-move surveys, inbound and quality assurance, invoicing/approvals, etc.) which will remain active during this period. It is recommended that PPSOs route all shipments during this timeframe to ensure that SDDC reporting reflects accurate shipment information.

3. Please report technical issues that are unrelated to this scheduled outage directly to the SDDC System Response Center (SRC):

a. Email: usarmy.scott.sddc.mbx.g6-src-dps-hd@mail.mil

b. Telephone: toll free (800) 462-2176 or commercial (618) 589-9445, select Option 5;

c. Internet: https://www.sddc-srchelpme.com  

4. Email questions and concerns regarding this advisory to army.sddc.safb.ppops@mail.mil  

5. This message was approved for release by the Business Process Division Chief, HQ SDDC.

Editor’s Note:

SDDC has indicated that they hope to have the Traffic Distribution Lists (TDL) available for TSPs to view on/about March 3. This gives TSPs approximately three calendar days to review their placements on the TDLs before the Peak Season bookings begin on March 6.

Sources: SDDC & IAM

JPPSO-MA (BGAC) Planning to Hold TSP Meeting on April 5

The Joint Personal Property Shipping Office – Mid-Atlantic is planning to hold a TSP/Agent meeting on Wednesday April 5 at Fort Belvoir, VA. The exact time and location are still TBD but personnel at the JPPSO-MA contacted IAM and asked that the Association begin to socialize the date for the event.

The event is planned as a pre-Peak Season meeting where JPPSO-MA personnel and TSPs/Agents will be able to share their plans, vision and expectations for the 2017 Peak Season.

DP3 participants are highly encouraged to pencil in the date for the meeting on their calendars and plan to attend. This will be an excellent opportunity to get face to face with your DOD customer in the National Capital Region.

JPPSO-MA will soon be providing an official notification on the meeting with specific time and location information.

Sources: BGAC & IAM

Household Goods Move Timelines Compressed Due to FY17 CR

The Navy Household Goods (HHG) global team announced Feb. 8 Sailors should expect a compressed timeline for planning and scheduling military moves through the end of the Continuing Resolution (CR) for fiscal year 2017.

Read More

IAM Shares Comments on 2017 Open Season Criteria with SDDC

SDDC asked IAM to consult with its membership and respond to them with preliminary consolidated comments on a set of draft criteria for an Open Season they plan to hold in 2017. The following are the comments provided to SDDC after feedback was received from the IAM Executive Committee, the Government & Congressional Affairs Committee, members of the Agent Advisory Committee and a number of individuals from the membership at large.

This is just the first step in the process leading up to a final set of Open Season criteria which SDDC plans to provide via the Federal Register this spring for formal comments. Those comments will be taken from the general public and SDDC’s goal is finalize their criteria and begin the Open Season application process shortly after July 4.

The following are the IAM consolidated comments regarding your draft Open Season criteria. We have consulted with a wide variety of IAM members and IAM leadership group in putting together our thoughts on what you have proposed.

I believe that the most common thread flowing through almost all of the comments/feedback we collected regarding holding an Open Season, under ANY criteria, was that any increase in the number of TSPs will NOT increase capacity. Capacity issues that we see today are really focused at the local level...at the agent level. Most feel that increasing the number of TSPs through an Open Season will not have any significant effect on the current capacity issues DOD faces. We need to aim at ways to make it easier for DOD agents to be profitable and reinvest it their businesses. That is the only way to truly increase "capacity" for DOD.

In recent years, it seems SDDC has taken aim on quite a number of agent related items that have made it more difficult for DOD agents to remain profitable. Rules changes related to crating, attempted deliveries, shuttle services, delivery into and out of mini-storage warehouses, long deliveries out of SIT, the entire GBL Bock 18/19 paradigm, additional reweigh requirements, the loss of the automatic 10% linehaul adjustment during Peak Season, etc., are all items focused directedly on agent revenue. We also have a number of other issues outside of SDDC's control that are having significant impact on agents. Increases in Federal/State Government regulation of those entities (Hours of Service & EOBR) as well as Base Access issues and the Labor/Driver shortage just to name a few.

It seems the DOD agent base has issues coming at them from all angles. We have to find ways to reverse that course if we want to see any change in a rapidly declining capacity base. The limiting factor for capacity is at the local level. They are the boots on the ground that walk into the house, meet face to face with the military members, pack their goods, many times transport their goods and always store and deliver their goods. We have seen an erosion of that group and we believe unless a concerted effort is made to support them, from all sides, we will continue to see that erosion. An Open Season is NOT going to help DOD build that kind of capacity in any way.

What can be done RIGHT NOW to help with the capacity issues you have identified? Many ideas have surfaced during our inquiries. Here are a few:

  • We need to once again consider allowing, at a minimum, some form of limited shipment refusals. TSPs are very often proactively blacking out, even when they may some available capacity, in order to not become overwhelmed. We are convinced that DOD loses capacity every summer due to the lack of the ability to refuse shipments.
  • It's time for Rate Reasonableness concept to disappear. Let the Market drive the pricing...totally. With 700+ participants in the Domestic Market and the current distribution methodology, competition should be the driving force behind pricing. Entities with pricing that is outside of the norms will not be in a TDL position to garner any traffic. This is the way that DP3 was envisioned to work. We have never seen if the marketplace and the program can really work on its own merit. Adding artificial restrictions to pricing works against the Best Value concept. This also may be another way for the TSP community to infuse life into the agent base.
  • We need to really consider the overseas Markets. We need to find ways to bring the current agent compensation in the International Market in line with 2017. We continue to use economic price adjustments annually in the Domestic Market and those baseline rates have at least tried to keep up with the current economic environment. However, we have done NOTHING to many of the overseas rates in years. Agents in overseas locations are suffering and you can expect more "capacity" problems popping up overseas as those agents are forced out of the DOD Market. 
  • We know this is on your radar but we need to find ways to move some of the "Peak of the Peak" traffic to the fringes of that surge and beyond. Bottom line, we need to spread out the traffic beyond a peak 6-7 week period. That is the only real time period that capacity is a major issue. We would not see but a fraction of the problems we experience if somehow that could be accomplished.
  • Thinking a little outside of the box.......IAM would ask SDDC to consider some form of Peak Season surcharge, at least for the capacity constrained areas identified in your Open Season criteria. We envision this surcharge would be one designated to completely for the agents in that area for the shipments they cover. This would be similar to the concept used regarding the Fuel Surcharge which directs that 100% of the surcharge goes back to the user of the fuel. We see this as a way of incentivizing agents to service more DOD traffic, particularly in the "capacity constrained areas" during the Peak Season. DOD is in a battle for capacity with other markets (COD & National Account) during the Peak Season and needs to find a way to make their traffic more attractive for agents to service. The 'put it in your rates' argument for TSPs is invalid for this scenario. This would be an AGENT-only designated surcharge.
  • Another way to stretch capacity may be to encourage weekend servicing of shipments and the ability for PPSOs to pay overtime for that service. Normally the only time that weekend work is done is for the convenience of the TSP/Agent but that is not compensated above normal levels. Agents may be willing to add an additional day or two (Saturday and Sunday) to their work week if the compensation was worth the stretch.

As stated we see these items as ways to attack the capacity problems......NOW! Waiting for an Open Season and new TSPs will do nothing in the short term and we feel it will have little or no real effect on capacity in the long term either.

In addressing the specifics of your Open Season draft criteria, as we said in an earlier communication, the idea that this would be an Open Season for Motor Carriers only is a non-starter for IAM. We are 100% against that concept. As I said in my earlier communication.... "This is particularly true with the increase in 'alternative transportation' in the Domestic HHG arena. That is additional capacity/capability that would bring 'goodness to the fight.' I am not sure what reason you would have to exclude Freight Forwarders out of hand." Freight Forwarders are current and active participants in DP3. If they bring capacity to the program currently, why would they not be able to bring added capacity to the program in the future?

  • Will current TSPs be able to expand their current scope during this Open Season? This has not been addressed in your criteria.
  • The idea of "limiting new entrants to certain Interstate channel combinations where origins/destinations have demonstrated shortage of capacity" may limit your applicants. There are significant financial investments involved in becoming and maintaining a DOD approval. If a TSPs is limited and would remain limited in their scope of operation for three years, some applicants may feel it may not be a worthwhile investment. Without access to the entire Market for three years some will question if the exercise would be meaningful.
  • Another point I have already made is .... "The communication seems to indicate this will only be an Open Season in the Domestic Market. Why are you not including the International Market? However, you indicate that HAWAII may be one of the proposed locations to include in the Open Season. Is this going to be a Domestic-only Open Season or will it include the International Market?". SDDC has addressed some of this already but we question the validity of limiting an Open Season to one aspect of the program.
  • The following criteria seems to be a holdover from the last Open Season - "limiting to those not already representing approved DP3 TSPs under exclusive restricted contracts limiting hauling capabilities to that approved DP3 TSP". We believe you will need to provide examples or further explanation of exactly what you are referring to.

Your proposed criteria, in many ways, sounds VERY similar to the criteria used in the last Open Season. What new capacity did that exercise bring to DP3? VERY LITTLE! I believe that approximately 12 new entrants were approved. A few have fallen by the wayside and a few have even been purchased by other TSPs. I believe we are naive to think we can head down a similar path and expect a different result.

Sources: SDDC & IAM

Trump's plan for spike in defense spending faces big hurdles

Trump faces skeptical Democrats whose support he'll need and resistance from fiscal conservatives opposed to repealing a 2011 law that set firm limits on military and domestic spending. Unless the president figures out a way to mollify the disparate camps, he'll have a tough time delivering on a signature campaign promise to rescue the armed forces from a festering financial crisis.

Read More

FMCSA Delays New Driver Training Rule Because of Trump

In the agency’s first reaction to a Jan. 20 presidential directive freezing and delaying many new regulatory actions, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officials said they are postponing the effective date of the entry-level driver training final rule.

Read More

DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes

Important SDDC Advisories

  • SDDC-PP Advisory 17-0059 - Defense Personal Property System (DPS) Scheduled Maintenance Outage
  • SDDC Advisory 17-0058 - Transition of Special Solicitation (SS) Code of Service (COS) 8 shipments moving CONUS to/from Qatar and One‐Time‐Only (OTO) COS 6/8 shipments moving OCONUS to/from Qatar to the Defense Personal Property System (DPS)

GSA Tariff Update

The below provides clarification to Transportation Service Providers (TSPs) approved to participate in the General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) Centralized Household Goods Traffic Management Program (CHAMP) when transporting household goods shipments in accordance with the terms and conditions of CHAMP and GSA’s Domestic 500A Tariff (GSA500A).

In accordance with Item 105A, Full Packing and Unpacking Service under Item 105, Packing and Unpacking Services of the GSA500A, TSPs are required to offer and perform the unpacking service at the time of delivery when a Full Packing Service was performed at origin. Item 105A, Full Packing and Unpacking Service is to be invoiced based on the weight of the shipment and is calculated on a per hundred weight basis in accordance with the applicable Origin Service Cost Schedule for packing and the applicable Destination Service Cost Schedule for unpacking as identified in Appendix B of the GSA500A. When invoicing for Item 105A, Full Packing and Unpacking Service, TSPs must submit the required weight ticket(s), a copy of the inventory signed by the Owner (employee), or his/her designated representative, acknowledging receipt of goods and confirming from the original inventory that all items were accounted for and were received in the same condition as when they were picked up (or noted otherwise) and a copy of the Accessorial Services Performed (ASP) document (DD Form 619-1 or commercial equivalent) signed by the Owner, or his/her designated representative, indicating that packing and unpacking were performed.

If an Owner, or his/her designated representative, declines the offered unpacking service, then the ASP document must still be submitted when invoicing and must contain the signature of the Owner, or his/her designated representative, acknowledging that packing was performed and that the unpacking service was offered by the TSP at the time of delivery but was declined by the Owner or his/her designated representative.

For shipments delivered prior to the date of the issuance of this clarification notice (Feb. 15, 2017) and for which a signature on an ASP document was not obtained from the Owner, or his/her designated representative, acknowledging either that packing and unpacking were performed or that packing was performed and unpacking was offered but declined, TSPs may submit a copy of this clarification notice with their invoices as this requirement had not yet been provided in writing. For any shipments delivered after the date of the issuance of this clarification notice, TSPs must submit all the identified documents when invoicing for Item 105A, Full Packing and Unpacking Service.

In addition, for shipments placed into Storage-in-Transit (SIT) prior to final delivery, TSPs may invoice for the total of the appropriate Item 105A, Full Packing and Unpacking Service charges at the time SIT is affected. If, however, for any reason a TSP is unable to deliver the shipment, thus eliminating the TSP’s ability to provide the unpacking service (for example, if the shipment is converted to Owner’s expense), then the TSP would be required to refund the unpacking charges to the agency that paid the invoice.

If you have any questions regarding this clarification notice, please contact Robyn Bennett at robyn.bennett@gsa.gov or 816-823-3644.  

Sources: SDDC, IAM & GSA

IAM Military News and Resources Page

The IAM Military News and Resources page provides military-based information in an easy-to-navigate tabbed format. In addition, IAM is linking to SDDC Personal Property updates and categorizing them by topic. Currently, on the SDDC website, these updates are hard to find and are organized chronologically – not a very user-friendly way to display information. This new system on the IAM site should make it easy for IAM members to easily find the important information they need. Contact Carl Weaver with questions.

Air Force creates new CDL transition program

The U.S. Air Force is making it easier for government vehicle operators to obtain a commercial driver’s license. It created a course that will let examiners certify government vehicle operators on commercial vehicle equivalents.

Read More

Truck, Bus Groups Ask Secretary Chao to Delay Safety Fitness Determination Rule

Several dozen truck and bus trade organizations have sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asking her to rescind and put on delay a proposed carrier safety fitness determination rule based on the federal Compliance, Safety, Accountability program’s scoring system.

Read More

Infrastructure Legislation Back on Congress' Radar

President Donald Trump's pledge to bring massive investments in U.S. infrastructure projects showed new signs of life Feb. 17 after lying dormant for weeks, as leading Republican lawmakers said proposals from the administration could be in the offing.

Read More