eGov/Mil Newsletter: November 1, 2018
In this Issue:
- USTRANSCOM Commander Asks for Meeting with Household Goods Industry Leaders
- DOD & Government Personal Property News & Notes
- National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA) Fall Meeting
- The US Navy will have to Pony Up and Race the Clock to Avoid a Sealift Capacity Collapse
- Driver Shortage Repeats as Top Concern in ATRI Industry Survey
- Pentagon’s Big Audit will Inspect for Cybersecurity Flaws, Comptroller Says
On October 30, IAM participated in a face to face meeting with the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) Commander, General Stephen Lyons. GEN Lyons asked for a meeting with a group of HHG industry leaders to discuss the recent surge in dissatisfaction with the DOD personal property (HHG) moving program by military members. Through the use of social media (Change.org), local TV outlet coverage and some national media attention, there has been significant coverage of an increase in the dissatisfaction with the moving services provided to military members. This attention has reached the highest levels of the government. Letters from the House Armed Services Committee and the Senate have been sent to the USTRANSCOM Commander asking for a plan to improve the program.
GEN Lyons opened the discussion with a backdrop of why he asked for the meeting. He indicated that DOD and industry have a common interest: successful moves for the men and woman in the U. S. military. He asked that industry “help us find a way ahead”. GEN Lyons indicated he’d been in-touch with all the 4-Star Generals that run each of the U.S. military Services and that he received commitments from each to work with USTRANSCOM on any initiatives to improve the personal property program.
GEN Lyons addressed three major areas of concentration he is focused on:
1) Capacity, particularly during the peak season; 2) Improved customer interface/customer experience (better IT; better communication from all parties); and 3) Fixing a “bifurcated value chain in the personal property program.” In other words, he should either own the whole program; or DOD should let someone else manage the entire process.
Industry attendees shared their perspectives on ideas such as “Demand Smoothing”; shipment refusals; increased transit times; flaws in the Code 2 initiative; price controls; and blackout granularity.
Ultimately, GEN Lyons was communicative and open to industry concerns; but he made it clear, status quo was not an alternative he would take back to Congress when he reports back to them not later than 15 February. IAM will stay actively engaged with USTRANSCOM as we work through potential future initiatives that will certainly bring change.
Sources: USTRANSCOM; IAM
USTRANSCOM Advisory 19-0001; Update on Hurricane Michael Shipments to/from Tyndall AFB, FL
USTRANSCOM issued an advisory on 19 October in regards to actions PPSOs and transportation service providers can take with shipments originating or terminating at Tyndall AFB. See link to the advisory on IAM’s webpage.
Update on USTRANSCOM Draft Code 2 CONOPS – STRATEGIC PAUSE
In the last eGov/Mil Newsletter, IAM provided a draft CONOPS from USTRANSCOM to expand Code 2 shipments significantly, in an attempt reduce claims on DOD shipments. The draft set the CONOPS implementation date as 1 November, 2018. IAM provided a number of member inputs on the impact of this proposed Code 2 CONOPS to USTRANSCOM. USTRANSCOM representatives signaled a willingness to revise the CONOPS. IAM and AMSA provided proposed changes to the CONOPS that would limit the weight of Code 2 shipments, increase the miles associated with when JPPSOs should request Code 2, asked for a set of metrics that would measure success of the initiative, and requested the implementation of the initiative be slowed significantly in order to review whether it was achieving its intended goal prior to full implementation. On 1 November, we were informed by USTRANSCOM that they intend to take a “strategic pause” and not implement the CONOPS as this time. USTRANSCOM will notify industry via advisory if/when they finalize this CONOPS.
Sources: IAM, USTRANSCOM
For TSPs who applied for participation in USTRANSCOM’s “Market Expansion” to become TSPs in the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3), you should’ve received an email from USTRANSCOM with an update on steps you need to take, leading to an upcoming on-site training event at Scott AFB, IL from 4-6 December. Prior to the training event, TSPs will receive a formal acceptance or denial letter from USTRANSCOM. In an email outlining dates and events associated with Market Expansion, USTRANSCOM listed the first round of rate filing as 13-18 January; and the second round from 10-15 February, 2019. Those dates are tentative and have not been confirmed by USTRANSCOM at this time.
Sources: IAM, USTRANSCOM
NDTA held its annual Fall Meeting from 22-25 October at the Gaylord Convention Center, National Harbor Maryland. This annual meeting is typically much more freight focused, but this year, with all the attention and media focus on DOD’s household goods (HHG) program, there was more conversation on HHG at senior DOD leadership levels than in previous Fall Meetings. A number of senior leaders mentioned HHGs in their remarks, and it was discussed in at least two separate “Transportation Academy” courses. That’s the term NDTA uses for break-out sessions provided by various government and industry members. Of note, one Transportation Academy session was hosted by John Johnson of Unigroup, with participation from COL Lounsbrough, USTRANSCOM’s Chief of Personal Property, and Danny Martinez, also from USTRANSCOM. The session was well attended (approximately 80 people) by DOD and industry representatives. Topics ranged from claims, to Code 2, to peak season concerns. Additionally, Mr. Johnson, who serves as NDTA’s HHG Subcommittee chair, held a separate subcommittee meeting with about 22 industry and DOD participants. In that meeting, attendees discussed a request from JPPSO-NC to allow some of their staff to spend time at TSP facilities to gain an understanding of TSP processes. Most comments were positive, and we hope to see this initiative move forward.
The US Navy will have to Pony Up and Race the Clock to Avoid a Sealift Capacity Collapse
The US surge sealift fleet, the ships needed to help transport up to 90 percent of the Army’s and Marine Corps’ gear by sea if the US had to fight a war against a great power, will be facing a full-blown modernization crisis by the end of the 2020s if the Navy can’t arrest its decline, according to a Navy report sent to Congress earlier this year.
Driver Shortage Repeats as Top Concern in ATRI Industry Survey
For the second year in a row, the national shortage of qualified truck drivers is considered the industry’s most pressing concern, according to an annual report prepared by the American Transportation Research Institute. The driver shortage has been a top-three issue in 12 of the 14 years ATRI has conducted its survey. However, the problem is becoming more glaring…
Pentagon’s Big Audit will Inspect for Cybersecurity Flaws, Comptroller Says
Pentagon’s Comptroller David Norquist warned government contractors Monday that the first agency-wide financial audit might reveal “a laundry list” of cybersecurity problems.