March 22, 2013

Plan early for household moves

Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

For many military and federal government workers, spring signifies not only flowers in bloom and warmer weather, but also a good time to get the jump on peak moving season, which typically runs from May to August.

Mitch Chandran, an Army Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command spokesman, said he encourages military members to request a preferred move date as soon as they get their orders.

Peak moving season, he said, is a moving industry phenomenon in which government moves compete with private-sector moves for the same resources during busy summer months, with peak moves between Memorial Day and July 4.

“The competition [occurs when] transportation service providers try to accommodate government and nongovernment move requests during summer months, [and more] move requests occur within a relatively short amount of time,” Chandran said. “The sooner you start the move process upon receiving orders, the better chance you will have to lock in your preferred move date.”

Each year, SDDC manages about 520,000 booked household-goods moves per year, of which about 225,000 occur during peak moving season.

John Johnson, SDDC’s personal property directorate quality assurance division branch chief, said the moving process should begin with military members contacting their transportation or personal property shipping office to explore their options, including a personally procured move.

A personally procured move is a do-it-yourself arrangement in which a service member with orders can opt to move household goods and either be reimbursed up to the government’s cost or collect an incentive payment from the government.

While the drawdown in Afghanistan through 2014 will space some moves throughout the year beyond summer, military members moving to another base upon their return from deployment could experience summer congestion in the commercial moving industry, including capacity shortfalls to accommodate requested pick-up and delivery dates, Chandran explained. But as moving season nears, military members can better ensure smooth transport of their goods by being flexible with move dates, planning for unforeseen circumstances and keeping contact information current in the system.

“Create a personal moving calendar with checklists, phone numbers and links to critical moving processes and information,” Chandran said.

He also noted that military members must confirm move dates by coordinating with their transportation service provider and completing a pre-move survey.

For more information about the moving process, contact the local personal property shipping office or installation transportation office: call 800-462-2176 or 618-220-SDDC or visit http://www.move.mil or email sddc.safb.dpshd@us.army.mil.

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