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NEWS | Aug. 5, 2011

Trouble moving? Plan ahead

By 437th Aerial Port Squadron

The peak summer move season is in full swing and like last season, the entire Department of Defense is experiencing difficulty obtaining Transportation Service Providers to pack and pick up personal property shipments. DoD attributes this to several factors, including limited carrier capacity, an increase in private sector moves, completion of mandated Base Realignment and Closure relocations and the normal large volume of requests for property movement from May 1 throught July 31. 

At Joint Base Charleston, the Air Force Joint Personal Property Shipping Office serves both Airmen and Sailors and is using all available tools and options to manage shipment volume and move property in accordance with their requested pickup dates. The JPPSO is working closely with the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and the commercial sector to identify carriers who are able to service shipments. The JPPSO is 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 you can do to offset the impact. First, review your schedule and work with the assignments team to determine if you can postpone your move or change your report-no-later-than-date until after the summer season when carriers are better able to pack and pick up your property. Flexibility in your departure plan allows the JPPSO an expanded opportunity to move your property.

Another option is to perform a Personally Procured Move, formerly called a Dity move. This option allows you to control your move dates and ensures you have ready access to your property upon arrival at your 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 you could receive a financial incentive if your 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 your door that you pack and the company picks up, transports, stores and then delivers at your destination at your request. Some companies also offer a menu of associated services including full or partial packing. If you want to discuss the benefits of PPMs, your local Personal Property Processing Office can provide an estimate of the cost factors, describe the particulars of the programs and help determine if this option will work for you.

No matter what option the service member chooses, good communication is critical and key to a successful move. Call the JPPSO early and call often. Do not hesitate to ask for help.

One final important note: the moving process is not complete until the service member fills out their Customer Satisfaction Surveys. This helps the DoD maintain the good vendors and discontinue the use of the poor performers.

For more information on planning and scheduling PCS moves, go to