USTC J9 COVID & Peak Season Calls (18 & 20 Aug) -- Combined Report

August 21, 2020

Below is a combined report of the Tuesday and Thursday USTC J9 industry & JPPSO calls…COVID and Peak Season updates. 


Tuesday (click this link for slides and notes):


  • USTC J9 acknowledged on the call that unpaid invoices are growing; they recognize the trend and are working with the Services to resolve. On the Army side, a recent Java patch resulted in issues and they are working diligently to fix it…even authorizing overtime to get it done.  The understand the impact to industry.
  • One TSP mentioned they have a large number of shipments in the pre-award survey queue, so they are reaching out to customers to see if the customer has any intention of moving.  What they are finding is that about 50% say they have no intention of moving this season.  JPPSOs say they are doing the same thing, working down their list trying to “clean out the system”; but if the TSP is aware that a customer has said they are not moving, please contact the JPPSO with that information.
  • Refusals ended 8 August; still saw 22 refusals after that; J9 wants to make sure TSPs understand refusals are now over.
  • Per slide 4 of the Tuesday call, there were 60 suspensions…15 for just face coverings; 16 for protocol certifications; and 6 for a combination of both.  Certainly looking for zero on this important issue, but in the scheme of the thousands of shipments being worked, this is a good sign.
  • For all of 2020 peak season, 64% of suspensions have been related to health protection protocols.
  • Per advisory 20-0113, current Code 2 selection criteria will be extended to 14 November.
  • Industry asked again, since all indications from blackouts and refusals prior to 8 Aug was that capacity was available, whether the 10-day short fuse window would be curtailed; J9 said it’s been discussed, but they are maintaining the current timeline.  The contraction of the short fuse window begins Monday, 24 August.
  • The 10-day period from the customer’s requested delivery date for shipments out of SIT was due to end 15 August.  Industry again asked J9 to consider extending the 10-day window beyond 15 August since DoD believes peak season will be pushed into the fall.  J9 stated they had talked about this with the JPPSOs since it was brought up previously, but based on industry signals of available capacity, they chose not to extend the window.  Starting 15 August, TSPs have 5 days from the member’s requested date to deliver a shipment from SIT before inconvenience claim rules apply.
  • As of Tuesday, there were still 249 NTS TSPs who had not certified whether they were in compliance with Sec 889 of the 2019 NDAA; and were therefore in non-use.  J9 has been reaching out, but not able to get responses.
  • Rick Marsh stated they were considering reverting back to transit times from the pre-stop movement timeframe.  He asked TSPs whether they had any input.  IAM responded that issues like what were going on still at the Port of Long Beach…COVID impacts to port labor and CBP labor; CBP delays; lack of chassis; DD Form 1252 delays caused by the government; lack of US Flag vessels, were all reasons to continue the extended Transit Times.  Additionally, while IAM has worked with the J9 staff to extend international transit times last year, J9 has chosen a philosophy of targeted increases instead of a broader increase asked for by industry.  With that in mind, the recent increases in transit times are seen by many in industry as an appropriate standard beyond the global pandemic.  J9 did not commit to maintaining the current transit times for now; but inputs from a number of TSPs along with IAM hopefully will help sway their decision.
  • Some inputs from industry asking J9 what improvements they believe the GHC will bring for small movers? And that it’s hard for people to invest right now in their infrastructure due to the unknowns associated with the GHC.  J9 would only say they believe they worked to address small business participation in the GHC plan.


Thursday (click this link for slides and notes):


  • Slide 2 shows counseling and shipment awards are back over the 100% mark compared to the three year average for last week.
  • Much less “no capacity” reports from the Services this week.
  • Short fuse represents 25% of overall shipment awards week to week; but due to Code J special solicitations being very low for short fuse, it pulls down the overall percentage…so for iHHG and dHHG, the real impact is closer to 30 – 35%.
  • Continued industry inputs that the volume that would suggest an extension of peak season into the fall does not appear to many to be materializing; and industry is trying to make decisions on maintaining their labor force, but the promised capacity seems to be less than what many expected. Some of that is likely due to the high percentage of short fuse.  Some of it is due to the fact that an increased level of volume has not fully materialized yet…the trend seems more in line with the 3 year average for this time of year.  J9 continues to say they see the forecasted demand as a positive sign that projected numbers will be higher this year than the three-year average.
  • Industry asked for information on installation health protection condition (HPCON) status; and whether J9 had an updated “heat map” showing which installations were red, yellow, or green. J9 indicated there was a public site which reported this information, and they’d see if they could provide the link.
  • Another discussion ensued on the idea of reducing transit times to pre-COVID levels; IAM again provided input as to why this would be a mistake for TSPs and service members in terms of expectation management.
  • AF PPA asked about the impact of California fires on movers/servicing shipments in Northern California; many TSPs and CMSA piped in about evacuations, closures, restricted travel/congestion.

Industry passed along that due to COVID increases, Guam had just issued an executive decision to close all businesses on the island; not sure at this point the impact to movers and getting on base to service shipments.