USTC J9 Monthly Non-Peak Call (14 Jan)

January 15, 2021

To start off the call, J9 covered the non-peak slides.  For the most part, the charts reflect a normal start to the year as compared to the previous three years. The only real change to previous years is the increase in awards and pickup of Code 2 shipments so far this year compared to the three year average.  


Highlights from the call:


A significant time on the call was also spent on a discussion of the new spread date rule. J9 started out by letting the JPPSOs know that for those people putting in shipment requests for 15 May and beyond, they needed to be sure counselors were properly briefing members on how spread dates would work.  A question was asked about spread date use for shipments released from NTS. J9 said once released, that shipment was now a standard shipment offer and so spread date rules should apply. When asked how that coordination would happen between the awarded TSP, the member, and the NTS TSP, J9 stated they would take a look at the rule and provide feedback. A question on how spread dates would be coordinated in a scenario where two TSPs were each awarded a separate shipment from the same member.  One JPPSO rep stated the counselors would be responsible to make sure the dates were coordinated properly between the member and TSPs.  


The other significant discussion item centered around slide 17’s missed RDD data. J9 started by stating that since the data on this chart was called into question during the December call, the staff went back and relooked the data and formulas, and confirmed that the information was correct; and slightly changed some of the chart titles to properly reflect what was being depicted.  Some on the call continued to question how industry could be at 45% for missed RDDs on direct deliveries, but only 20% for all deliveries when the focus and attention for meeting direct deliveries would take higher priority than a shipment going into SIT; and that if over half of all shipments go into SIT, for direct deliveries to miss their RDD nearly 45% of the time, mathematically, it would follow that very few shipments going into SIT are late.  There was no resolution to this dialogue.  It was suggested that maybe a slide that shows number of shipments and percent late for shipments going into SIT only, might be helpful to see what those numbers looked like so they could be compared to the Direct Delivery numbers; to see if the missed RDD for shipments going into SIT numbers made sense. 


It was mentioned by a TSP on the call that based on transit times for Turkey, when looking at the shipment volume for Turkey, with the weights being so low, the current transit times don’t allow for consolidation of the low shipment weights.  And therefore, with rate filing in a few days, USTC might have trouble getting TSPs to bid on that Special Solicitation.  J9 said they would look at that issue. 


The volatility of air freight rates was also discussed, and the difficulty TSPs will have even providing a rate for many channels due to the reluctance in some locations to publish a rate. J9’s initial response was, there’s nothing we can do at this point since rate filing is this weekend.  But followed up by asking for some information on what TSPs were seeing on air freight rates in certain areas. But J9 reminded all that TSPs must file a rate for the channels they want to service.  Per a previous IAM request to J9, they have stated they would consider updating the air freight pass through rules to reflect the ability to pass through costs for 2021-2022.  But no commitment to do that was made on the call.


It was noted on the call that the new JPPSO-NE Deputy Director has been in her position for about a month.  Her name is Kim Hogue (haven’t confirmed the spelling yet). She has an Army background and significant time as a DoD civilian in transportation; and a personal property background.


IAM brought up that there have been some recent activity on shipments converted to member’s expense that has made its way to USTC, and asked J9 whether our call a few months ago to put an industry/DoD team together to work on Conversion business rules was still being considered by USTC?  The SMO Chief, Scott Matthews stated it was on his radar and they intend to do it, but the timing would be based on how it fits into a list of priorities; but he had not forgotten the request for a working group.


A question was raised about the pending deadline of 1 February for the implementation of the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) business rules; and that some had heard from USTC that the implementation date would be pushed back again.  J9 didn’t commit, but stated an advisory should be out soon, potentially pushing the date.  Many have stated they are having trouble with digital certificates in TEAMS and getting trusted agents updated/added.