USTC J9 Weekly Telecons (28 & 30 July)

July 31, 2020

Due to the lengthy correspondence IAM put out on Sec 889 of the NDAA that came from Tuesday’s J9 Conditions Based Movement call, the following inputs cover other topics from that Tuesday call below, along with the Thursday Peak Season call.

 

Tuesday:

  • On slide one of the 28 July Readaheads, it was noted that Coast Guard Miami is struggling to get invoices processed and their invoices are growing.  IAM has engaged the Coast Guard on this issue.  They have manning issues, but we heard they are trying to get more people trained to do invoices.  USTC J9 stated they are following the invoice situation and staying engaged.
  • When discussing maintaining the 10-day Short fuse expansion window, one of the JPPSOs mentioned that ¼ of their customers are trying to move inside the short fuse window.
  • Industry members noted that based on data, it would appear that there is capacity in the system, so DoD should consider the normal 5 day short fuse window and move everyone else through the normal distribution window.  But JPPSOs continue to say they can’t find capacity in that 10 day window, and so recommend to J9 to continue Short fuse expansion of 10 days.
  • The Navy mentioned that in general, they don’t have capacity issues for domestic moves; but the real struggle is Code 4 and a few Code J spots.
  • Air Force stated they are seeing the same issues that Navy mentioned…that in CONUS, except for places like Minot and others that have traditionally been problematic, they are not having issues.  International moves are causing more problems than domestic.
  • VADM Mewbourne, USTC Deputy Commander, before getting off the call thanked industry and the Services for what the enterprise does for service members and their families. 
  • There was discussion of a bit of an uptick in suspensions for COVID related issues…24 for face coverings; 17 for not providing health protocol paperwork; and 9 a combo of both issues.  Out of nearly 9,000 shipments, 46 suspensions for these issues is clearly not a significant number, but DoD reminded the participants, even one is too many, and they really need industry’s continued focus on this topic.

 

Thursday’s Peak Season call notes:

  • J9 mentioned from all their stats, (refusals down; blackouts down; % of awards against refusals blackouts and timeouts) capacity is opening up to an even greater extent.
  • Over past 6-weeks, seeing 115% of shipments awarded compared to 3-year average; 105% of members counseled.
  • Some “no capacity” issues for NTS in OK, MO, KS, WA.
  • “No capacity” reports for HHG in HI and in the South; Services all saying biggest capacity issues are with Code 4…Navy says especially to Hawaii and Japan…less issues with Domestic moves. 
  • Biggest capacity challenges appear to be with short fuse shipments; lots of timeouts; still many members coming into PPSO wanting to move within 10 days.  Short fuse still representing almost 25% of shipments week to week.
  • Blackouts currently at “record lows” for this time of year.
  • AF PPA asked for JPPSO input on how they see refusals…is it helping them; all responded it’s either neutral, i.e., no help; or that it is driving a higher level of workload for them.  Based on this, J9 is considering ending refusals before the previously announced timeframe of 31 Aug.  Industry members made their recommendations to continue short fuse for at least as currently planned.
  • JPPSOs complained that many Code 4s are being refused and these are ending up in short fuse causing capacity constraints.  DoD interested in why the Code 4 struggles.
  • Inputs from industry included agents struggling to get labor based on COVID and unemployment benefits; many domestic shipments getting booked out earlier, so eating into agent capacity; this year, due to COVID, hasn’t been a typical build up of volume, so it’s been hard for industry to plan for capacity; as always, there is no guaranteed traffic, and a strange peak season, therefore hard to plan and build capacity.
  • Starting to see a rise in deliveries.
  • J9 is talking with Services about curtailing the extended transit times put in for COVID; industry comments were consistent that especially internationally, the extended transit times are overdue; help put some transit times into a more realistic timeframe; and port issues, vessel issues, and customs issues are all still impacted by COVID, requiring additional time to move international shipments.
  • J9 stated they have anecdotal evidence that customers are frustrated with the longer transit times.  J9 pointed to the fact they have curtailed transit times for POV shipments, and felt it was time to look at the same thing for HHG.
  • J9 stated DoD has paid out over $15 million so far on the 10% Stop Movement adjustment.
  • AF PPA thanked industry for their partnership; asked for everyone to keep working the health protection protocols because they don’t want to suspend anyone.
  • Lt Col Lowery mentioned that she continues to seek feedback from the local area; and current and former colleagues that have moved this summer about how their move went, and she’s proud to report many have said the communication has been great; and some have said it’s been their best move experience of their career; she appreciates all the work it takes to make that happen.