PCS Season Expectations

It’s no secret that the 2018 and even 2017 PCS peak seasons were difficult for many service members and their families. With echoing promises of this year being better by many DoD senior leaders, while waiting on the process of a single move manager program to take place it has many of us wondering – will it actually be better?

Here’s some expectations to prepare for:

⁃ Peak season is still peak season. Yup, even with all the talk of how everyone should avoid moving in the summer, and especially between mid June and mid July, orders are report dates are still being slotted for these timeframes. Due to school calendars on each end of the process, some folks are facing a small summer window anyway with their children. So regardless of the good talk being done, peak season will still be peak season.

⁃ Crating has been approved now for CONUS shipments that are 7500 pounds or less and not going door to door. That doesn’t mean if you are like me with 15,000 pounds you can’t get crates either. You can still ask for them, but it’ll be up to the company for the crates and trucks to meet that request. It’ll also be up to the company if they have the crates and equipment to outfit the request for those at 7500 pounds or less.

⁃ More QA inspectors. Maybe. The Marine Corps is bringing in 12 reservists to train them as inspectors to work through the peak season, the Navy is hiring a total of 15 new inspectors to work across the fleet, and the Army has said they are hiring more to meet the 50% inspection rate and will allow inspectors to go TDY to key locations that have school houses with consolidated mass turn over rates. Will this be enough to truly make a difference this year? Maybe.

⁃ 24 hour hotline. TRANSCOM plans to have an operational hotline in May for those who can’t get a hold of their move coordinator or inspector. It’ll be nice to be able to get a hold of an actual person, but the training that person will have and how it will be staffed to handle the projected number of calls still has yet to be seen.

⁃ Increased transit times. Yes, you read that right. There is no more chasing your truck down the road to beat them for a door to door move. With new regulations with the electronic logging devices, truck drivers can only be on the road for a certain time before they have to pull over and park. Failure to do so could result in fines or even loss of their license, which would mean waiting even longer for your HHGs. When you input your origin and destination location on DPS, it’ll give you an estimate for arrival so you know how long it’s going to take.

If you’re like me, you’ll be moving right in the middle of peak season with a hope and prayer that things go smoothly.

Will the 2019 peak season be better? It might be. After the disasters of last year, and the program being under the microscope of Congress and the media, many Transportation Service Providers have put more money in to various departments and programs in order to ensure better service is provided.

The best thing to be as prepared and organized as you can be, prepared to be flexible with your dates and TSP as we know life happens, and remember that this too is just a process that you will get through.

We’ll find out as the season progresses exactly how this season compares to last year …..stay tuned!

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