USTC J9 Conditions-Based Movement Call (Aug 11)

August 12, 2020

The August 11, J9 Conditions-Based Movement Call included inputs from the USTC Deputy Commander, VADM Mewbourne, the J9 Director, Rick Marsh and representatives from JPPSOs, Service Headquarters and industry participants.

 

The call started with a review of readahead slides.

  • Week 30 included just under 96% of the 3-year historical average for that week; week 31 was over 100%; week 32 is at 45% but will continue to rise as shipment information is updated in DPS.
  • Looking ahead for the next 4 weeks, shipments projections appear to be hovering right at the 3-year average.
  • IAM called attention to the increase in overdue invoices for JPPSO-MA; COL Abraham responded they had pushed a patch of their IT systems and it resulted in linking information in their third-party systems; the issue was fixed last Wednesday and they are recovering; he believed the numbers would be close to normal by Friday of this week.
  • IAM asked for feedback on anecdotal reports of reduced amount of international shipments being booked. Initially there was not much response.  Rick Marsh asked the Services if they could address the question. The Navy responded that best they can tell, shipments are flowing smoothly…but they continue to see CONUS shipments accepted without issue, but the process is taking much longer for international shipments to be accepted.  Therefore, the Navy asked industry, if there are less international shipments in the pipeline, why aren’t the ones that are there, being taken by TSPs in a timely fashion?  The Air Force added they are seeing the same thing as the Navy.  And added they believe, as previously stated, the uncertainty families are facing as to when they get booked on the AMC rotator flights, and the fact it is taking longer to lock in their overseas travel, results in many holding off on scheduling their HHG pick up, which ends up forcing them into a short fuse situation.  The Marines agreed, and stated from a personnel policy perspective, they don’t see it changing anytime soon.  VADM Mewbourne appreciated the perspective and stated it was an unintended consequence of closely managing member movement to/from overseas in order to keep them safe in the COVID environment…and suspected bookings for international would continue to enter the pipeline later than what we would normally expect.
  • The Air Force and Army commented that they both expected larger than normal bookings into the fall beyond what they had experienced over the past three years.  
  • J9 provided an NDAA Sec 889 update.  As a reminder, HHG and NTS TSPs were required to certify whether they do or do not use prohibited Chinese technology not later than 9 August to meet the legal requirement of the Act by 13 August.  Those who did not meet the 9 August requirement were suspended from the program effective 13 August.  Overall, just over 90% of HHG TSPs provided their certification; but only 50+% of NTS TSPs have complied with the requirement.  Rick Marsh stated, anecdotally, it appears the NTS TSPs are not aware of the requirement. For those TSPs who missed the 9 August deadline, but have since provided the required certification, USTC will work to get them back on the TDL as soon as possible; in those cases, Marsh stated the entire process is pretty manual, so it could be a day or two once the late certifications are received, to get TSPs back on the TDL, but J9 is working it hard. 
  • IAM added that some TSPs were concerned that when they submitted the certification, there was no acknowledgement that the certification was received; J9 staff replied that for some NTS certifications, they did acknowledge receipt back to TSPs, but they wanted to be clear, acknowledging receipt did not indicate the TSP’s actions were complete, as J9 is finding some forms incomplete or not filled out properly.  In those cases, they are contacting TSPs for them to fix the mistakes. 
  • VADM Mewbourne asked J9 how a TSP could verify on 13 Aug that their SCAC was on the TDL? J9 stated on the 13th, a TSP could log into DPS and see if they were receiving shipments.  Additionally, for TSPs not on the TDL, DPS would generate a notice letting them know they are in non-use. J9 stated once a TSP is reinstated, the staff would reach out to them.  For NTS TSPs where the process is not in DPS, the staff is working closely with those providers.  J9 stated the planned further outreach as 13 August approaches, particularly for NTS TSPs whose response rate has been much lower than on the HHG side.
  • J9 also indicated they are sending emails and making phone calls to non-compliant TSPs.
  • IAM asked with the data on the readahead slides continuing to point to historic lows in refusals and blackouts, and continued quick TSP response times, whether J9 is considering scaling back the short fuse window to 5 days, earlier than they reported in their latest advisory on the topic.  J9 stated they had recently discussed that topic with the JPPSOs, and all agreed with the problems they are having booking shipments with short lead times, they were going to maintain the short fuse window as outlined in the advisory.
  • J9 stated they were getting feedback from industry on the situation on the ground at the port of Long Beach, and issues associated with port agent delays due to COVID, CBP delays due to COVID staffing issues, and recent rejection of 1252s where CBP would no longer accept the form with handwritten markings on it.  They stated reasoning behind making transit time adjustments earlier in the year was for situations just like this.  J9 will not make broad transit time or policy adjustments on those shipments being delayed at Long Beach, but stated on a case by case basis, if industry felt this situation led to inconvenience claims or punitive actions outside their control, they have an appeal process set up for just such a situation, and urged TSPs to take advantage of the process.  VADM Mewbourne asked the staff if there was anything USTC could do to engage CBP on their delays and change in what they would and wouldn’t accept on the 1252s. 
  • J9 stated they were aware of 290 shipments impacted by COVID exposure reports.  VADM Mewbourne was interested in the trend in reports…whether they were increasing or decreasing.  J9 stated it seemed steady.  VADM Mewbourne hoped with all the procedures in place, the numbers would be shrinking, but the staff stated they didn’t see a specific trend that pointed to that. 
  • J9 reported their update to the IT20 and 400NG with regard to 10% adjustment information; and the reweigh clarification had been added to the IT20 in Change 4.
  • J9 reported again they are not seeing the submission of inconvenience claim reports as required by the TOS.  They had received about 100 reports, but are aware of far more potential inconvenience claims based on missed RDDs; so J9 is going to dig into the missed RDDs, and compare them to the inconvenience claim reports they are receiving to determine who is not properly reporting.
  • VADM Mewbourne ended the meeting thanking industry and the Services for their insight; and first person account of what it’s like in the field; he added his gratitude for “your investment in us”.