TRANSCOM Moving Updates, 2023
by Lizann Lightfoot - December 5th, 2022
Update on the Global Household Goods Contract (GHC) and how it impacts the 2023 moving season
Honeycutt: We have good news: On November 4, 2021, we awarded the contract to HomeSafe Alliance. There were complaints filed that resulted in a stop work order. But in October 2022, those claims were cleared in court and we were allowed to move forward. We had our first meetings in November to officially begin working with the HomeSafe team. We are in the transition stage now, looking at processes and systems to make sure everything in linked up
We aren’t expecting the first moves under the GHC until September 2023.
What do we need to do after the HHG delivery date?
Melissa: PCS moves are an important memory in military life, and we want to hear about the great moves and the terrible ones. Don’t skip the survey! We really want feedback on the Customer Satisfaction Surveys, because it matters. We use that data to inform whether or not to take action against transportation service providers, and whether they are a good value for the DoD to contract with in the future. We want to hear about the drivers and companies who are doing their job well. Your feedback helps your military community.
If you want someone else to have a great move, fill out the survey, because those are the companies we want to hire again for the 2023 season. You can fill it out up to 90 days after each event: There is one survey after pick-up and another after delivery. You don’t have to go through DPS, just use the link provided in your email. We appreciate everyone making time to do that!
How do you file a personal property claim after a military move?
Melissa: You have 180 days to give notice that you will file a claim. This is an extension over the previous 90 days, because you can’t always unpack everything in 90 days! Then you have 9 months overall to file the claim. You can read our Personal Property Claims fact sheet here. If you’re in the process of filing your claim and can’t get it complete, reach out to your military claims office or help desk to get assistance.
Who can fill out the Customer Satisfaction Survey?
Melissa: There should only be one survey completed per household, because we want a true representation of the move. But it does not have to be the service member. It can be the spouse, an adult child (college student) or anyone who can present the full family experience. We had an 11% survey return rate in 2022, and we really want to improve that rate, so we’ll take responses from anyone who can speak for the military family and their experience.
Do you have resources for military families preparing to move?
Melissa: We launched the Military OneSource page earlier this year. Move.mil has now been transitioned to Military OneSource as our primary location for customer communication products. There is a landing page called Moving Your Personal Property, with information on who to contact and all our communication products. There are 9 fact sheets, multiple videos, and we are really excited about the feedback we’re getting from customers. We have 16 fact sheets lined up with new information for 2023. These are quick reference guides you can print out or download to your phone. If there is anything they don’t cover, talk to the counselor at your local Transportation Office.
We are growing our podcast and our outreach to Family Readiness Centers so they can announce updated rules for the 2023 season. All those updates will be posted on Military OneSource. If you’re moving before peak season, you still follow 2022 rules.
PPM tips for military families moving themselves
Honeycutt: A Personally Procured Move (PPM) formerly called a DITY move can be arranged yourself, and it can be either a full or a partial PPM. If you pack some items in your car, that’s a partial PPM. You still need to book it through DPS and get approval from your Transportation Office. They’ll explain what is required for reimbursement.
For a PPM, you can rent a truck, use a POD, use your own vehicle, ship through UPS, or hire a commercial moving company. Discuss your options with your Transportation Office first, because you want to use approved and insured movers. You can find a list of approved moving companies on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. You want to make sure you aren’t just hiring a mover who posts on a job board, because you want a company that takes care of you and won’t hold your goods hostage for additional fees. That is not what anyone wants to experience. We call them rogue movers, who underbid the move, then increase the prices after picking up your property.
If you have issues, you can contact your local Transportation Office, or file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or the FMCSA website. They can all help you if you have issues with rogue movers. You can get lots of tips on our PPM fact sheet here.
Are more families doing PPMs this year than usual?
Honeycutt: With the effects of COVID on the entire move process, we have seen spikes in PPMs because people want to have more control. As we move further away from COVID and the industry recovers, we want to ensure that people continue to have a good experience.
Melissa: If you’re doing a PPM because you’re afraid of a negative experience with military movers, know that our customer feedback was more positive in 2022 with fewer missed or late deliveries, and a better moving season overall. That was a lot of collaboration with military services. I have to give a shoutout to our Joint Personal Property Shipping Offices (JPPSO) who handle regional issues and understand industry capacities. I visited two JPPSOs this year, and both were doing a lot of work analyzing spikes in school dates, regional capacity, etc. So we see them working to get ahead of the curve and really understand their customers.
Customers are encouraged to do a PPM if that’s what they want, but we don’t want anyone to do it just to avoid a bad experience. We are learning and adapting to make better customer experiences, even in the face of supply chain issues and labor shortages.
What are some of the benefits of the Global Household Goods Contract?
Honeycutt: GHC is part of some broader changes to the program. It's a long-term reform that will integrate the functions of the 900+ TSPs that are in the current program down to one single move manager. This gives us increased quality capacity during peak season.
There are several benefits to the customer. There will be enhanced communication with the single move manager all throughout their move, with 24/7 support. There will be messaging through the app, and calls with a 10-minute or less wait time. The system is built around being able to communicate with the customer. The tools will be mobile-friendly and easy to use. And you’ll have status updates and estimated delivery times all visible through the app. It takes the guesswork out of a move and lowers the stress level for everyone.
We are also looking to simplify and improve the claims process. We will improve inconvenience claims, where late pickups or deliveries can be handled through the move manager.
There will be a domestic phase-in beginning in September 2023, then it will expand into international shipments, and we expect to have all shipments integrated by Fall of 2024. I have been so excited to see some of the capabilities of these programs, and as an active duty family who has moved many times, we are excited that we will get to use these tools for our next move.
Have you had good moving experiences?
Melissa: In my civil and military career, I’ve moved about 13 times, and I do have skin in the game now, even if I may not move again. My two oldest kids are in the military, and they are still making moves, and probably feel overwhelmed by all the information I sent them. My youngest is serving in ROTC and may join the military as well. Working on improving conditions for military families is such an important reform and transition. Most of us on the DPMO are leaders who have experienced moves as well.
Do you have anything to add about TRANSCOM’s mission?
Honeycutt: We know that the first GHC moves will be in September 2023. We aren’t resting at TRANSCOM right now. We are making sure customers are taken care of under the current program. We talked about the survey, but it’s so important to get feedback at all parts of the move, so we can make adjustments and improvements. We use feedback to prep us as we roll into GHC and report issues to the HomeSafe team so they can make improvements. I’m very hopeful for the changes in the future.
Melissa Jordan: Division Chief, Defense Personal Property Management Office (DPMO) Strategic Engagements
My team and I conduct communication strategy and implementation with both our DoD leaders and our customers. A lot of our outreach is to military spouses and through family offices. My background is a dozen years as a civil servant, and before that I was in the Air Force for 24 years.
Lt. Col. Cody Honeycutt: Chief, Training and Initiatives Branch
I’m coming from Scott AF base, and have been in the Air Force for 18 years. I’m a logistics readiness officer, and have been in Household Goods for the past 4 years. Our team develops the training for all the DP3 and all the GHC rollouts to get government employees trained and up to speed. I’m dual military, my wife is a flight nurse, so we are very familiar with military moves.