USTC J9 Conditions-Based Movement Call (2 Feb)

February 02, 2021

Today’s call started out with a COVID-19 update from USTRANSCOM’s Command Surgeon.  A great deal of information and stats on COVID was provided.  The information was broad, detailing U.S. COVID statistics on cases, deaths, and vaccines. In general, the US, in terms of new cases, is currently at about where we were pre-Thanksgiving, and new case numbers are falling.  CDC believes that trend will continue through at least March.  In terms of vaccines, 50 million doses have been distributed; and 32 million doses have been administered.


Additionally, USTRANSCOM’s Deputy Program Manager for the Global Household Goods contract (GHC), provided a quick update on the awarding of the Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) contract. USTRANSCOM has hired a Market Research Firm (Echo Qualitative Project Support, or Echo) to help collect CSS data. In terms of what impact this CSS contract will have on DP3 CSS, according to J9, almost none…at least during this first year.  The contract was established to support the GHC; and may be used under DP3 to help the DoD assess their internal processes such as counseling.  But if additional questions are asked of the member about things like internal DoD processes, those will be targeted questions to a modest number of service members, not targeted to all moving Service members.  The winning company, Echo, apparently does market research for organizations such as Disney and the NFL.


The readahead slides are largely unremarkable. Two items of note include that mask and heath protection protocol violations are still occurring.  And that the number one infraction in the program right now deals with failure to obtain reweighs, and failure to provide the missed reweigh fee.  On this topic, the Air Force stated a trend they are seeing is that some TSPs are performing the reweigh, but then not loading it in DPS.  Therefore, when the JPPSO looks in DPS, sees the reweigh was not performed, they issue punitive action, only to have the TSP provide documentation for a reweigh, causing rework for both the JPPSO and the TSP.  Updating DPS for reweighs, completed deliveries, and scheduled direct deliveries are trends the Air Force would like TSPs to focus on. 


USTC J9 Ops briefed they had released an advisory on Spread Dates, and Transit Time changes.  Round two of rate filing starts 14 Feb (through 19 Feb). The spread date conversation led to additional questions about how the new spread date policy works with blackouts.  More clarification is needed on this topic.


The Storage Management Office (SMO) briefed they are working to make updates to the NTS tender of service.  SMO highlighted that these changes were largely customer facing changes. They are using recent changes in DP3 rules that are customer facing, to mirror that focus under the NTS TOS.  They’ll be posting an advisory to soon to discuss some of the changes.  They intend to hold a session on or about 24 February to discuss the rules and answer questions.  They are not interested in debating the changes; just explaining them so everyone is on the same sheet.  After that they’ll be sending out modifications to NTS providers that will be effective 1 May 2021. 


DPS Systems Branch briefed some DPS access issues; and that the help desk recommends using internet explorer.  TSPs and the Navy stated that I/E is not broadly supported due to security issues, and DPS should start thinking about how it can support other internet providers.  USTC followed up tonight with an advisory that they were conducting emergency maintenance this evening (2 Feb). Hopefully that helps some of the access issues TSPs are seeing.


USTC J9 Director (Rick Marsh) asked for feedback from industry on best practices for moving high-end fitness equipment such as Peleton bikes. He is interested in solutions that don’t include crating, and whether anyone in industry has much experience on the topic they could offer.  If so, feel free to contact Mr. Marsh to discuss it with him.


Additionally, Marsh stated that he’s hoping this Spring’s PPF doesn’t become a re-hash or clarification of 2021 business rules.  The rules are out, and if people have questions, they need to be asked and resolved.  He’d prefer we get an even earlier start on 2022 business rules; and would like to engage in conversations at the PPF on “what’s next”.  He’d like industry and Services to think through what changes to make to improve the program for 2022.  He stated, if we wait too late to tackle those, then we won’t be able to implement meaningful changes in 2022.  A couple of things he mentioned were eliminating CSS gamesmanship; new rules on rate structures; and thoughts about whether we can get out of starting new rules in mid-May.


Some of those are potentially loaded topics, but we need to start thinking through what we’d like to see changed for 2022 and any thoughts on the topics Marsh would like to discuss at the Spring PPF.  More to follow on this topic.