Air Force

December 21, 2012

New process improves household goods shipments

Tags:
by Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
Air Force Week kicks off in New York City
(U.S. Air Force graphic/Corey Parrish)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill., — A system being implemented at U.S. Transportation Command is making permanent-change-of-station moves more convenient, while reducing lost and damaged shipments and saving the government money.

The Defense Personal Property System, introduced in 2009 as a pilot program at 17 installations, now supports 90 percent of all military moves, said Jill Smith, personal property division chief at Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command.

The web-based system automates many of the steps involved in military moves: pre-move counseling, scheduling, tracking, invoicing and claims filing for household goods shipments.

“The beauty of DPS is that customers can do all this from the comfort of their own homes. They can do it early in the morning or at 11 o’clock at night, whatever works best for them,” Smith said. “Plus, all the information they might want; whether it’s about gypsy moths or weight allowances, or just tips about how they can have a smoother move, is right at their fingertips, a click away and available 24/7.”

The system also gives customers the opportunity to track their shipments online. If their shipment is lost or damaged, they can file a claim online and settle directly with the moving company.

Moves not yet covered by DPS, generally those involving long-term storage or moves within an overseas theater, will be included as new features and added to make the system fully operational by September 2017, Smith said.

Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, Transcom’s Army component, processes about 600,000 personal property moves each year for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, Defense Department civilian employees and their families, Smith reported. About one-third of these moves take place during the summer and almost 70,000 include privately-owned vehicle shipments.

Collectively, they cost the Defense Department about $2.2 billion a year, Smith said. But with DPS, she projects between $117 million and $136 million in annual savings — while providing customers with better service.

“That’s because rather than relying on “low-bid” transportation providers to conduct military moves, DPS provides “best value” services,” she said. This, Smith explained, factors in not just cost, but also variables such as timeliness, reliability, the incidence of lost or damaged shipments and ease in providing reimbursement for claims.

“We want to provide carriers that are not only qualified, but fully capable of making sure that they protect the members’ household goods, provide a great quality move and communicate with that customer,” she said. “The bottom line for us is that we want to do business with carriers that pick up the household goods on time and deliver them on time, with no or the least amount of damage, whether that carrier happens to be cheaper or a little bit more expensive.”

Those determinations are based directly on customer satisfaction surveys that help ensure the best movers are singled out for DOD business. “We rely on these surveys because customers get to evaluate the transportation service provider’s performance and those tie directly into the best-value score,” Smith said. “The higher the customer satisfaction, the higher the score and the more opportunity that (carrier) gets to participate in future traffic.”
As an additional incentive for moving companies to apply extra care while handling DOD shipments, carriers are now required to pay full replacement value for anything lost or broken. Before that change was introduced about five years ago, transportation carriers paid a depreciated value on all claims.

The result has been a dramatic reduction in claims.

“If they break your $500 china, that means they have to replace or repair it. So carriers have a tendency to be more careful,” Smith said. “That is a good thing, because it helps make service members feel a little bit more comfortable about turning over their prized possessions, knowing that the carriers are going to be held responsible for it.”

Smith said she is looking forward to the complete rollout of DPS and the convenience it will provide DOD customers throughout the move process.

“This will be a brand new era,” she said. “Customers will have a centralized one-stop shop that gives them all the tools they need to plan and manage their moves, that provides them best-value service and uses their feedback to ensure other service members will, too.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
CAP

Civil Air Patrol’s California Wing encampment

As the summer season kicks into high gear, the Civil Air Patrol’s California Wing celebrated its annual Cadet Encampment, and the 40th Anniversary of the Cadet Training Group, at Camp San Luis Obispo, California, July 1st thr...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Hailey Haux

AF generals testify for their future positions

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Hailey Haux Gen. Paul J. Selva, the nominee for vice chairman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Darren W. McDew, the nominee for U.S. Transportation Command commander, sit before Congres...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Megan Crusher

452nd Air Mobility Wing crew experiences 71st Anniversary of D-Day

U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Megan Crusher The Association Picauville Se Souvient’s memorial lists the units and names of paratroopers and crews of the C-47 Skytrain jets that were lost more than 70 years ago. The Picauvi...
 

 
U.S. Army photo/Staff Sgt. Robert Van Tuinen

Civil Affairs Command completes change of command, ready for more Pacific operations

U.S. Army photo/Staff Sgt. Robert Van Tuinen The cannon, named Country, renders honors as part of a change of command ceremony on June 6. During the ceremony, the outgoing commander, Brig. Gen. Stephen K. Curda passed command o...
 
 

Air Force elevates discharge authority for transgender-related Airmen separations

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force leaders announced June 4 a change to the decision authority for involuntary separations for enlisted Airmen diagnosed with gender dysphoria or who identify themselves as transgender. “Though the Air Force policy regarding involuntary separation of gender dysphoric Airmen has not changed, the elevation of decision authority to the director, Air...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Reservist deploys to Nepal as civilian Urban Search and Rescue Specialist

Courtesy photo Maj. Glenn ‘Tony’ Wright, 452nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron, March Air Reserve Base, stands amid rubble in the nation of Nepal while deployed there following a devastating earthquake in April 2015. Wright is ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>