USTC J9 Peak Season Call (23 July)

July 24, 2020

The USTC J9 Peak Season call continued to highlight a disparity between a lack of industry capacity, per the JPPSOs, to meet DoD moving requirements in the short term; with a lack of longer term bookings that many in industry have highlighted to DoD.  The JPPSOs need capacity now, and industry is looking for the continuation of volume in the out-weeks that DoD continues to say is there and will materialize, extending peak season into the fall. 


Presumably, due to a shortened “flash-to-bang” time, when Service members get the green light from the Personnel community to move, they have a desire to move immediately, since many (again, presumably) have been waiting for the green light maybe for months because of the Stop Move order.  This is putting pressure on JPPSOs to find immediate capacity, pushing them to use short fuse.  But there is frustration in the JPPSOs because many of the short fuse shipments are “timing out”; with no TSP accepting the shipment.  Short fuse represents about 24% of the shipment awards week to week over the past two weeks. 


The slide data shows that refusals are down, blackouts are down, and the refusal and blackout ratios are down…seemingly signaling available capacity.  But trying to get shipments serviced in the short fuse window is remaining problematic for DoD. 


J9 stated they will reach out to some TSPs and JPPSOs to make sure everyone is seeing the same thing, to ensure there isn’t an unknown DPS issue.  If you believe there  is a disconnect between shipments offered and what TSPs can see, you can contact Danny Martinez; he’d be interested to hear what you are seeing, if you believe it’s out of the ordinary.


The data on the slides continue to show members counseled this past week (week 29 data) as above the three year average; and shipments awarded above the three year average.


Slide 2 (in the upper center graphic) also reflects a difference of about 18,000 shipments during the classic peak season (weeks 20-35) as compared to the three-year average (128K 3-yr avg vs 110K shipments for 2020).  Since we are only reporting through week 29 out of 35, that number would appear to suggest our peak season isn’t going to be that much out of the normal.  However, using the bar charts on Slide 2, we are currently at 71K pickups in 2020, weeks 20-29; compared to 142K pickups in the three year average for weeks 20-35.  That would obviously suggest, at least in terms of pickups, we are only at 50% of the total peak season pickups compared to the entire peak season average…but we do have 6 more weeks to go before we can make a direct comparison.


J9 noted, per the data, we are staying above 90% of the week to week average for pickups over the past few weeks.  And they expect that to continue on based on their projections of future workload.


The “no capacity” reports show issues in the Southwest, some on the Eastern Seaboard, and Hawaii.  The Navy mentioned they are having trouble moving Code 4 from CONUS to Japan and Hawaii.  But thanked IAM for engaging with Hawaiian agents to articulate available capacity on Hawaii in the month of August; and stated JPPSO-Hawaii is now working shipments in August based on the data.


JPPSO NE stated they are starting to get more and more Inconvenience Claim questions.  NE also stated they believe we should not expect this peak season to shape up to reflect previous years.  And that the standard PCS timeline of members getting their orders into the system 6-8 weeks out is something that we won’t see this year to the extent we’ve seen it in previous years. Customers are getting the green light, and want to move immediately.


There was some discussion about agent origin capacity being eaten up by inbound and delivery work; and this would continue to add stress to origin capacity.


AF PPA stated they heard Germany just turned “red” in terms of Conditions-Based movement criteria; and stated this change from green to red and back again will continue to cause customer starts and stops that will interrupt the normal flow of scheduling shipments 6-8 weeks out like would be normal.


J9 reminded industry that there is a requirement, per the TOS to submit monthly reports on Inconvenience claims; and that they are reviewing those reports, and want to make sure everyone is reporting the status.


J9 stated, based on trouble with some areas of Code 4 capacity, that they may look to turn some of those problem areas into Code 4 special solicitations next year.  If you have concerns with that concept, J9 is interested in your input.


J9 stated, for the most part (outside of a few Code 4 trouble spots), they are seeing that the standard award process is running smoothly; the biggest issue is with short fuse shipments. 


JPPSO SC stated, despite what appears to be a smooth standard award process, what they see at their level is a “tremendous amount” of customer concerns.  They are seeing issues with shipments where SC has to engage the customer and the TSP’s move coordinator, to get proper communication flowing.  They stated when you take some of the normal shipment frustration and add COVID concerns and health protection protocol issues to the equation, they believe it requires even more industry engagement with the customer to make sure the customer understands what is happening, and is comfortable with the process.  Per SC, this is lacking from the industry side in many cases where they get involved; and they’d like to see greater/clearer communication from industry to the customer.


JPPSO SC also commented (as was previously reported by another JPPSO) that they are seeing significant issues with TSPs entering data in DPS in a timely fashion; causing SC to issue LOWs for things like missed RDDs, only to find the shipment met the RDD…therefore going into the system, removing the LOW for missed RDD, but then changing the LOW for late entry of data in DPS.  J9 acknowledged, due to web bot policy, there are some limitations with entering data in DPS for TSPs. 


JPPSO NE brought up they are starting to hear more about base access issues, and reminded TSPs to call ahead if you are unclear about entry policy; and/or make sure to check out the terminal facilities guide to see what is posted for each installation.