We have entered the 'peak season' for Household Goods (HHG) moves. Each year about 225,000 DOD (and Coast Guard) moves take place in the summer months. Almost 65 percent of all DOD HHG goods moves are performed between May 15th and September 30th. And the “peak of the peak season” is the end of June to the beginning of July. The large number of summer moves is due in large part to service members' justifiable desire to move at the conclusion and prior to the start of their children's school years. The sheer volume of moves puts DOD and civilian transportation and contracting capabilities to the test and has proved difficult during the past several years.
The U.S Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) owns the Defense Personal Property Program as well as the Defense Personal Property System (DPS). At Navy installations, the command which takes the lead on these matters is Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP). TRANSCOM and NAVSUP have implemented corrective actions designed to mitigate last summer's difficulties and improve the quality of service during the upcoming peak season. However, TRANSCOM and NAVSUP rely heavily on contracted moving services. Factors outside DOD control, such as the continuing economic conditions and an increase in private sector moves continue to negatively impact the moving industry's capacity.
Service members anticipating a PCS move this summer are encouraged to take a number of steps to improve the overall process:
1. As soon as you receive your change of station orders you must begin the move process.
2. Plan your move!
3. Visit www.move.mil and review the move planning tools available online.
4. Establish an account at DPS, proceed with self-counseling and immediately provide a copy of your official orders to your supporting personal property office.
5. Select your move dates early and ensure flexibility in packing, pick-up and delivery dates. Your moving dates are not confirmed until the moving company contacts you and confirms.
6. Stay in contact with the household goods moving company, now called Transportation Service Provider (TSP), throughout the move process.
7. Immediately notify the local personal property office if any unforeseen issues arise during the move.
8. Lastly, consider performing a Personally Procured Move (PPM). Eligible service members may be paid up to 95 percent of the government's cost for performing a similar move.
In conclusion, planning, preparation, flexibility and communication are the keys to executing a successful household goods move. Contact your local personal property office for additional information, training and guidance!