Consolidation Streamlines Household Moves, Saves Money

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2011 — Mil­i­tary mem­bers and civil­ian Defense Depart­ment employ­ees aren’t expect­ed to notice it, but changes that start next year at U.S. Trans­porta­tion Com­mand will help to make their house­hold goods ship­ments more effi­cient and cost-effec­tive.

Transcom announced plans to con­sol­i­date 151 per­son­al prop­er­ty ship­ping offices into 11 region­al offices over a four-year peri­od begin­ning in 2012.

The con­sol­i­da­tion is expect­ed to save mil­lions of dol­lars over the next 10 years, said Transcom com­man­der Air Force Gen. William M. Fras­er III, and sup­ports goals to boost the command’s effec­tive­ness and effi­cien­cy.

The changes aim to elim­i­nate redun­dan­cies with­in the house­hold goods ship­ment process, offi­cials said, reduc­ing over­all oper­at­ing costs and pro­vid­ing stan­dard­ized, more effi­cient busi­ness prac­tices.

Eleven new joint per­son­al prop­er­ty ship­ping offices will han­dle behind-the-scenes house­hold goods move­ment details such as book­ing ship­ments and com­mer­cial movers.

Transcom will estab­lish these offices at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Col­orado Springs, Colo.; Chelms­ford, Mass.; Fort Belvoir, Va.; San Anto­nio; Jack­sonville, Fla.; and San Diego. To man­age moves out­side the con­ti­nen­tal Unit­ed States, joint offices will stand up at Pearl Har­bor, Hawaii; Yoko­su­ka, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; and Grafen­woehr, Ger­many.

How­ev­er, because local per­son­al prop­er­ty pro­cess­ing offices will con­tin­ue to pro­vide pre-move coun­sel­ing ser­vices and inspect inbound and out­bound ship­ments to ver­i­fy qual­i­ty cus­tomer ser­vice, the con­sol­i­da­tion is expect­ed to be trans­par­ent to cus­tomers and their fam­i­lies, offi­cials said.

Per­son­al prop­er­ty ship­ping coun­selors and qual­i­ty con­trol inspec­tors “will be focused on improv­ing cus­tomer ser­vice and will still be avail­able to assist with all your mov­ing needs,” said Jim Teague, a trans­porta­tion spe­cial­ist at Transcom’s strat­e­gy, pol­i­cy, pro­grams and logis­tics direc­torate.

Auto­mat­ed moves pro­cess­ing through the new defense per­son­al prop­er­ty sys­tem will still be avail­able for mil­i­tary and civil­ian DOD employ­ees, offi­cials not­ed.

This sys­tem uses a “best val­ue” approach to con­tract­ing with movers that focus­es on qual­i­ty of per­for­mance, Web-based sched­ul­ing and track­ing of ship­ments, ser­vice mem­ber involve­ment through­out the mov­ing process and a claims sys­tem that pro­vides full replace­ment val­ue for dam­aged house­hold goods.

More than 90 per­cent of all house­hold good ship­ments now are booked through this sys­tem, with active duty, reserve-com­po­nent and civil­ian mem­bers tak­ing advan­tage of its online self-coun­sel­ing ser­vices, Fras­er not­ed in writ­ten respons­es to the Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee before his July 21 con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing. The sys­tem saved Transcom about $153 mil­lion in per­son­al prop­er­ty move­ment costs dur­ing fis­cal 2011, he report­ed, not­ing its use of more com­pet­i­tive rates and best-val­ue scor­ing.

Fras­er vowed to con­tin­ue improv­ing busi­ness process­es for house­hold goods ship­ping and ser­vices.

Last week, dur­ing his first town hall meet­ing since tak­ing com­mand Oct. 14, Fras­er called on his head­quar­ters staff at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., to ques­tion process­es with­in the com­mand that have been “on autopi­lot rather than pulled from a col­lab­o­ra­tive envi­ron­ment.”

Fras­er urged Transcom’s peo­ple to be “solu­tion-ori­ent­ed” and con­tribute their own ideas to make the com­mand oper­ate more effi­cient­ly and effec­tive­ly.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)