USTC J9 Stop Movement/COVID-19 Call (5 May)

May 06, 2020

 J9 held their latest Stop Movement call with industry and the Services Tuesday, 5 May.  VADM Mewbourne, COL Gipson, Lt Col Lowery, Kim Johnson, and Danny Martinez participated on behalf of J9.


The attached Stop Movement Placemat was discussed. As of now, week 18 (last week) shows 15% pickups compared to the three year average during the same week.  However, this week 18 percentage will continue to grow over time as DPS continues to get updated.


Not much is currently booked past week 28 (which reflects the end of the current Stop Movement Order); but J9 expects to see those numbers start to pick up.  The reason they haven’t yet is at least partially related to service members taking their time to consider personal issues/impacts before taking action to schedule a move.


COL Gipson mentioned the Peak Season Advisory is in staffing; but stated it doesn’t contain any information that hasn’t already been articulated to industry via advisories or on various calls.


Both COL Gipson and VADM Mewbourne made reference to “Advocacy Letters” that GEN Lyons sent to Congress.  See a copy of one of 6 nearly identical letters sent to various Congressional Committee Chairs and the ranking member of those committees.  IAM and AMSA joined forces near the beginning of the COVID-19 Crisis to send a letter to GEN Lyons, asking for his support to ensure Congress was aware of the critical nature of this industry to the DoD; and that he be supportive if given the opportunity, to help find financial relief for the industry.  GEN Lyons’ letters are a welcome show of support from TRANSCOM to Congress on behalf of our industry.  IAM continues to work with AMSA to find a legislative vehicle to seek financial relief for the industry.  It is an uphill battle, but the work continues.  Our initial effort during the first phase of the CARES Act was not adopted by Congress.


Refusals will be allowed this peak season.  Refusals won’t start until the peak season message is published.  Refusals will be available for shipments picking up on or after 15 May.


Code 2 shipment goal for this year is 15%; and the target weights for Code 2 are shipments 10,000 lbs or less.    


Per new 2020 peak season requirements, TSPs must submit a monthly status report on inconvenience claims. J9 will provide the standard format of that report in the Peak Season message.


There have been a number of questions on how the new 24-hour rule for shipment notification to the customer, along with the requirement to contact a customer twice, four hours apart before requesting SIT, will actually work.  J9 acknowledged they had been asked this in the past; had lost track of the topic with all the COVID-19 actions; but will provide a response to industry, likely in the form of scenarios, as they sort through the details.


J9 was also asked whether the 10% shipment adjustment during the Stop Movement order would be subject to a Syncada fee.  That has not been determined yet.  They stated this is still being discussed with US Bank.  When asked if people could submit the 10% adjustment prior to this question being resolved, J9 stated this was a TSP decision; but if done prior to the issue being decided, there is no guarantee the action would be retroactive, or that TSPs would be reimbursed for that fee.


A question was asked about the intent of Advisory #20-0081 (TSP Certification of Health Protection Protocols) as to whether the form was to be given to the customer, retained by industry, or both.  In past conversations with J9, and per the current advisory, the implication is that the certification form was to be given to the customer.  J9 staff seemed to signal a different intent today on the call.  J9 staff mentioned it made sense to them that industry should have the form in case DoD wanted proof that it was accomplished as required.  That was not the interpretation as I personally understood it.  Some conversation on the topic ensued.  Even the AF seemed to read the requirement as giving the form to the customer.  J9 stated they would go back and review the intent, and provide definitive guidance in the near future.  If you have the capability to give the customer the form, and keep one for your records, after today’s conversation, I highly encourage it.  It was asked whether TSPs could email a completed form to the customer if they wanted a copy, and it was stated that if the customer preferred email, that was acceptable.  We are standing by for more specific guidance on this topic. 


The 2020 400NG and IT20 is updated with new 10% Adjustment information and should be published by 6 May.  Those updates will include adding “Civilian” to the reweigh chart in the IT.  As stated previously, this already exists in the 400NG, but was missing in the IT20.  J9 stated it was an oversight, and is rectifying it with the publishing of an updated IT20.


According to J9, DPS and TEAMS remain fairly stable now for almost a week.  DPS analytics is still up and down.


J9 was asked whether the timing for paying inconvenience claims for shipments delayed from SIT (during 15 Jun to 15 Aug, TSPs are given 10 days) would be extended if Peak Season is also extended.  J9 stated that as with all of their customer experience related policies, they would continue to assess the need, and are not prepared to make an adjustment at this time. 


VADM Mewbourne stated that the SECDEF had reviewed the Stop Movement Order today as he said he would every 15 days; and decided not to make a change at this time.  SECDEF wants to make a metrics-based decision on when the Stop  Movement can be loosened; and DoD continues to adjust the criteria he is using to make a decision.  VADM Mewbourne also stated the new standard for moves is not just quality, but safety as well.  He said he appreciates what industry is doing to take care of the safety of the customer; and appreciates that the industry has embraced this new safety standard to go along with their desire to provide a quality move.