USTC J9 Conditions Based Movement Call (10 Nov)
Today’s J9 call covered the attached slides in fairly quick order. Shipment pickups for the past 4 weeks have been slightly below the 3 year average. And current projections for the next 4-6 weeks are below the 3 year average. No insight provided as to why projected movements are slowing down.
The Services and J9 emphasized they are seeing an increase in health protection protocol issues, and thus a spike from last week on letters of suspension for those issues. With the increase in COVID cases worldwide, and the start of the cold & flu season, the DoD is asking for increased emphasis on the health protocols to turn this negative trend around.
- To the above point about concerns with health protection protocol compliance, COL Gipson reinforced that if someone is uncomfortable servicing a shipment due to health protocol issues (their own or with the customer); or feel like they can’t comply, then contact the shipping office and don’t take the shipment.
- Not later than 13 November, J9 will post the updated business rules and will give industry about one week to comment on proposed changes. J9 is only looking for comments on proposed changes at that time. And advisory will come out when the draft business rules are posted for review.
- The Storage Management Office (SMO) thanked industry for inputs on the request for information (RFI) on the Non-Temp Storage Retrograde contract. That RFI is now closed. SMO will assess industry comments and move forward with the contract.
- The issue of port congestion and constraints at the LA/Long Beach ports was brought up by International Auto Logistics (IAL); and the concerns they have with shipment delays due to many factors (volume, chassis, rail, labor, customs, etc). IAM chimed in on the topic as well. Just last week, IAM sent notice to J9 and Service representatives on this same topic. COL Gipson stated she is aware of the issue and concern and appreciates industry dialogue on the topic. In light of this, and network delays in other areas, IAM again asked J9 to consider these constraints before moving back to pre-COVID transit times. J9 said they are mindful of network issues; and they participate in monthly meetings with the TRANSCOM Deputy Commander and all the Service Logistics Chiefs on this topic; and the impact to the various sectors that TRANSCOM is responsible for moving freight/HHG.
- J9 and AF asked about more specifics on port delays; what industry felt was the cause; whether it was COVID related; and if this is a persistent problem, then had industry considered alternative ports? IAM brought up the issue with limited US Flag vessel availability which limits the alternatives for movement outside of LA/LB.
J9 announced that the first Non-Peak teleconference with industry and the Services was set for 12 Nov.