A few weeks ago many of the moving industry representatives descended on St Louis to be a part of US Transportation Command (Transcom)’s Personal Property Forum (PPF) to hear how this past PCS season went and a look at what is coming. Along with representatives from various moving company’s, moving associations, Transcom, Military Claims Office, JPPSO/PPSO’s, and contenders for the new Global Household goods Contract (GHC), my team and I also showed up.
Here’s what you need to know –
– Transcom’s 2019 initiatives pushed the season to be better than the 2018 season. For military families this included the crating more CONUS shipments, increase in claims liability, and a 24/7 call center at Transcom to help with after hours issues. For the industry side it included longer transit times, and a refusal initiative that allowed them to take assigned shipments and refuse them if they knew they could not service that shipment. Refusals were wildly popular amongst the industry but hated by the JPPSO/PPSOs.
– Executive Working Group (EWG) lacks military family participation. A special group that consists of Transcom members and rotating members of the industry and designed to address PCS process and experience currently does not have any family invited to the group to provide applicable feedback, neglecting an opportunity to bring all stakeholders to the same table.
– Industry more receptive to families than Transcom. While there were a few good conversations between members of Transcom and me, there were many missed opportunities again to take advantage of the time to further building relationships and to work together. Instead, it was members of the industry that stepped up, reached out for meetings, wanting to share their perspectives, hear ours, and figure out how to work together on a common goal.
– The GHC is moving full steam ahead. The contract was posted days before the PPF with much anticipation with what would be required of those who are interested. While many criticize jumping ship from one program to another instead of doing an internal look to see what could be fixed, and concerns growing over what this new program could mean for the moving industry, Transcom is moving forward with the GHC. There are still many unknowns about the oversight and accountability of the program, and many things will be left for the contract awardee to decide, there are some good things in it for families. Inconvenience claims will be moved to a flat rate fee on par with the military per diem rates. This will mean that families no longer have to save receipts and negotiate what is covered. There will also be a hardship expense that will help families should dates get so shifted that families now have additional housing rent and fees when they cannot clear in time. There is also mention of in transit visibility – but whether that is through real time tracking, or just movement notifications, that will be left to the contract holder. While Transcom refused to discuss the GHC at the PPF, much of industry was sharing their view on the program and what it might mean to their business.
It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months, and years as the programs shifts and changes. When it does, I’ll be right there with it.