Summer PCS personal property moves present challenges

  • Published
  • By Karen M. Woods
  • 72nd Logistics Readiness Squadron
The peak timeframe for permanent change of station moves is between the months of June through September. The Department of Defense expects the largest volume of requests for property movement to occur from May 1 to Aug. 31

. It is imperative that members provide the Personal Property Processing Office at least five weeks' notice between submission of shipment request and first pack day. This is to ensure shipments will be successfully routed and booked with a transportation service provider.
Much like last season, the entire DOD is competing with the private sector to secure Transportation Service Providers to pack and pick up personal property shipments.

There are many challenges associated with such a major change in the lives of military members, DOD employees and their families. One of the major worries is surviving the process of the movement of personal property. There are several factors to think about that could allow some stress alleviation.

To offset the impact to families, the Air Force Joint Personal Property Shipping Offices are using all available tools and options to manage shipment volume and move property in accordance with customers' requested pickup dates. To that end, they are working closely with the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and commercial industry to identify carriers who are able to service shipments.
The JPPSOs are also placing some shipments into temporary storage at origin locations. Furthermore, the Military Services have been working with industry to add flexibility to business rules with a goal of securing maximum carrier capacity.

Because there are so many competing pressures for personal property movement this summer, it's important to focus on a few things that a member can do, to offset the impact.

The first thing members should accomplish, obtain a Defense Personal Property System user account by visiting www.move.mil. With this registration, members will have the ability to monitor the entire shipment process, including completion of required customer satisfaction survey and coordinate any claims with the TSP, if applicable.

Once a DPS user account is acquired, the customer will be able to self-counsel, thereby accomplishing the applications for shipping. After all shipment requests have been entered into the DPS system, members will need to print all documents, sign all documents and forward them along with orders to the PPPO. NOTE: Self-counseling is not available for certain situations, such as members who are accomplishing a first or final move.

The second thing members should take into consideration is to be prepared to provide an alternate set of pack and pick-up dates to the PPPO. In addition, appoint someone to supervise (releasing agent) the pack and pick-up of the property, in case the shipment cannot be routed and booked in time for member's departure.

Lastly, members may elect the option to perform a Personally Procured Move (formerly Do It Yourself, or DITY). This option allows members to control their own move dates and ensures ready access to property upon arrival at their new location. There are several PPM options including one that reimburses up to what the government would have paid for the move and another where members could receive a financial incentive if their move costs less than 95 percent of the government's constructed cost.

Factors such as weight limit, actual weight of property moved and distance between origin and destination determine the amount of money involved. In addition to the old "rent a truck" PPM option, you now have access to new modes within the commercial industry called Portable Moving and Storage Containers. These come in the form of containers dropped at a member's door, which are packed by members and the company picks up, transports, stores and then delivers to destination.

Some companies also offer a menu of associated services including full or partial packing. To discuss the benefits of PPMs, your local Personal Property Processing Office (formerly TMO) can provide an estimate of the cost factors, describe the particulars of the programs and help determine if this option will is beneficial.

By keeping each of these processes in mind, prior to visiting the PPPO, members can alleviate a lot of stress that is involved with the movement process. For more information, the Tinker PPPO can be reached at 739-3059.